The Skill Mill



Key information

  • Focus area

    Social outcomes
  • Investment type

    Outcomes contract
  • Region

    UK wide
  • Challenge

    Young people who have committed offences face several challenges to breaking the cycle of re-offending. The stigma attached to having a criminal record, lack of previous opportunity and the negative societal attitudes creates enormous barriers.

    Even with the best intentions to turn their back on crime, young people struggle to access education, training or employment opportunities which are vital to helping them move forwards with their lives.

  • Approach

    The Skill Mill is a social enterprise that helps to break these barriers by enabling young people aged between 16-18 to gain work skills, knowledge and importantly confidence, by working alongside local private contractors and partners.

    They deliver an intense six-month paid work programme with accredited training and a nationally recognised qualification. The young people work on water and land-based management projects, helping to reduce flood risk and improve the local environment. Follow on employment opportunities with partner organisations and the wider labour market are sought for each young person and support to achieve this is provided from the outset.

  • Revenue model

    The Skill Mill took social investment in August 2020 to expand their work across seven sites. This is funded through an outcomes-based contract, where commissioners only pay for measurable outcomes achieved, which creates the investor return. The target outcomes are: onboarding to The Skill Mill programme, achieving a qualification, completing the 6-month programme, securing further training or employment and 12 months of no re-offending.

  • Impact

    The Skill Mill reduces the risk of young people re-offending in the UK. The experience gained from the programme widens future opportunities, both in terms of employment and personal development, and discourages social inclusion during adulthood.

    In 7 years, The Skill Mill has employed 225 young people with a re-conviction rate of just 8%, compared to a counter factual of 72% for young offenders with 11+ convictions. 75% of the young people have progressed to further employment, education, or training.

  • We are very pleased with the progress this programme has made especially over the past 20 months towards achieving the outcome targets. The impact on the young people has been life changing and we would love to hear from organisation’s who can help offer follow-on jobs or contracted work for the teams to build on this success

    David Parks

    Managing Director, The Skill Mill

Related investment

Big Issue Invest Outcomes Investment Fund LP

Fund addressing social challenges through outcomes-based contracts.

Learn more
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Aman Johal

Managing Director
Talk to me about:
Social outcomes contracts

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