Integrating young ex-offenders back into the community can seem like a big challenge. But employment opportunities from award-winning social enterprise The Skill Mill have been boosted with investment from the Resonance West Midlands SITR Fund – enabling over 224 young ex-offenders to get back into work.
The Skill Mill works with young ex-offenders to increase their employability through a range of different projects. From flood management to construction, these young people are working on improving the environment around them. And the large amount of time spent outdoors, and being in contact with nature, is shown to improve emotional and physical wellbeing too. But the young people at The Skill Mill gain much more than a recognised qualification, they gain the skills and self-confidence to reconnect with their community.
Breaking the cycle of reoffending through this intensive course has been a success. The Skill Mill’s programmes have outstanding results across five regions. Right now, 88% of the young people who have completed the six-month programme have avoided re-offending. This is extremely effective, with a 12% re-conviction rate compared to the national average of 43%. Also, 65% of the young people achieved and maintained an employment or training outcome. And that’s why Resonance is supporting the expansion of the course across seven Local Authorities.
With the investment, The Skill Mill’s intensive sixth-month course will be made available in Birmingham, Croydon, Durham, Leeds, Nottingham, Rochdale and Surrey. So that’s an estimated 224 more young ex-offenders who will gain a nationally recognised qualification. This course will help address their underlying issues and help them to stay out of the criminal justice system.
Grace England, Resonance Senior Investment Manager said of the investment: “The Skill Mill’s unique contract with Local Authorities means that the team is in a great position to expand its impact across the UK. We’re looking forward to supporting this innovative social enterprise and the young people they work with over the next few years.”
Tony, a former Skill Mill employee who now works for the Environment Agency says, “Skill Mill gave me that massive chance to prove that I'm not a criminal. I can work; I'm willing to work, and get up every morning to do stuff for the environment.”
David Parks, Managing Director of The Skill Mill explains further: “This programme is the culmination of many months of hard work and dedication from all partners who are committed to improving the life chances of some of the most vulnerable young people in society. These young people who have been drawn into criminality need a realistic opportunity to break the cycle and The Skill Mill achieves this by helping to change their identity from one of an offender, to an employee with legitimate income, self-respect and a desire to change their behaviour and contribute positively to society and the economy.”
With their impact expanding across the UK, The Skill Mill are doing something unique: a ‘payment by results’ contract. This means that The Skill Mill will only be paid when specific outcomes are achieved for each individual, including securing employment, further training, or avoiding reoffending. So the programme is truly centred around the young people and their futures.
With this unique collaboration between social enterprises and Local Authorities, with Resonance contributing to the funding, the future is bright for these young people to move forward with their lives.
Social Investment Tax Relief
The Resonance’s SITR Fund in the West Midlands provides a vital support scheme for social enterprises and charities that are working hard to improve vulnerable people’s lives in our communities across the country, providing solutions to some of their region’s most significant social problems, including:
poverty or disadvantage
opportunities for young people
diversity and inclusion
addiction and homelessness
Resonance also operates an SITR Fund in the South West.
For more information about investing in our SITR Funds click here.
If you’re a social enterprise based in the West Midlands or the South West and are looking for investment click here.
Sign up today and keep up to date with all our latest social impact news, innovations and insights so you never miss a thing.
Resonance Limited is a company registered in England and Wales no. 04418625
Resonance Impact Investment Limited, a subsidiary of Resonance Limited, is authorized and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA). Firm number 588462.
Disclaimer: This website does not contain, constitute, nor does it form part of, an offer to sell or purchase or a solicitation of an offer to sell or purchase, any securities, investments or financial instruments referred to herein or to enter into any other transaction described herein. Resonance is not providing, and will not provide, any investment advice or recommendation (personal or otherwise) to you in relation to any securities, investments or financial instruments or transactions described herein. Whilst all reasonable care has been taken to ensure the accuracy of the information contained in this website, neither Resonance nor its officers accept any liability for its contents or for any errors or omissions.