The Skill Mill Directors



David Parks BSc (Hons), PG Dip, ADPED Social Work

David grew up in Glasgow, Scotland and has worked in Community

Development and Young People’s Services in Glasgow, Belfast and

Newcastle upon Tyne. He currently manages a range of multi-disciplinary

services for young people at risk at Newcastle upon Tyne Youth Offending

Team, specialising in Court Work, Restorative Justice, and Education,

Training and Employment support initiatives. David has developed a

network of pan European partners sharing practice and ideas across a

range of criminal justice activities and leads the academic research

partnership between Newcastle Youth Offending Team and Northumbria University. He qualified in the Advanced Diploma in Practice Education and Development (Social Work) in 2003 and has a strong commitment to Social Work education and training, teaching on a number of Criminology, Law and Social Policy modules. David is an Associate Partner of the Centre of Offenders and Offending at Northumbria University and a founding Director of The Skill Mill Limited: a Social Enterprise dedicated to the employment and training of young people in environmental work.


Paul Brownlee CQSW, Dip HE Social Work, DMS

A former Sapper in the Royal Engineers, Paul qualified as a Social Worker in 1993. Paul has worked in a number of Social Work Departments in the North East of England. He has spent the majority of his career delivering, managing and leading services for young people involved in the Criminal Justice System. Paul has worked as an advisor and improvement consultant to the Youth Justice Board of England and Wales developing best practice models at both local and national levels. He has focused on implementing innovative partnership responses to juvenile justice issues and has spoken on the subject at international events. Most recently Paul has been responsible for Youth Justice Services, Young People’s Substance Misuse Services, Multi-Systemic Therapy, Youth Work Services, Young Carers, Social Work services for 16+ Looked After Children / Care Leavers and Vulnerable Young People in Newcastle upon Tyne. Paul is an Associate Partner of the Centre for Crime and Justice at Northumbria University and a founding Director of The Skill Mill Limited.

Linzie Pentleton BSc (Hons), Water & Environmental Management

Linzie started her career as a civil engineer working for two local authorities Alnwick District Council and Sunderland City Council, where she obtained an ONC and HNC in civil engineering. She joined Northumbrian Water in 1997, and since then has worked in various departments and roles. Starting in the sewerage network department as a Technician she then went on to become

a Project Manager within the Investment Delivery Department, delivering

new network infrastructure. From there she became the Water Efficiency

Manager, working with the community and schools to reduce water consumption.

She then progressed to be a Wastewater Treatment Manager responsible for the treatment works compliance in the Hexham area which lead her then to become a Water Treatment Manager. Ensuring drinking water supplying Northumberland was to the correct quality and quantity. During this time she also studied for a BA (Hons) in Leadership and Management which she completed in 2012 and also became a qualified NVQ assessor. She is now the Sewerage Network Controller for Northumberland and Tyne working closely with local authorities to minimise flooding and the Environment Agency preventing pollution. Linzie is a founding Director of The Skill Mill Limited a Social Enterprise dedicated to the employment and training of young people in environmental work.

Dr. Katri-Liis Reimann

Katri-Liis is an Associate Professor of public management at Tallinn University.  She has her Ph.D. in Management Science from Estonian Business School where she was also teaching before joining the faculty of Tallinn University.  Her MEd degree is in political science and educational science from Frostburg University, USA.  She has experience from working for the private and NGO sectors, including 10 years in management of the Estonian-Finnish cross-border cooperation organisation.  Her main research interests include public sector innovation, strategic management, inter-sectorial cooperation models, social innovation and entrepreneurship. Katri-Liis is a co-founder of Skill Mill MTÜ.  

Andy Peaden CQSW, MSc Criminal Justice


Andy started his career working as a volunteer with Northumberland Probation Service in 1987. He became an Intermediate Treatment worker with Blyth Valley Juvenile Justice team in 1988 and qualified as a Probation Officer in 1991 and worked in a range of different locations for both Greater Manchester and West Yorkshire Probation services, including 3 years as manager of St John’s Voluntary Probation Hostel in Leeds. 


Andy left Probation to go back to the world of Youth Justice in 2003 becoming the South Yorkshire ISSP consortium manager. He became Sheffield YOT manager in 2005 and Assistant Director for Youth Services in Sheffield 2010. In 2011 Andy was seconded into Sheffield Futures (an independent charity delivering Youth services and Connexions) as Chief Executive. He moved to Leeds to take up his present position as Head of Leeds Youth Offending Service in 2012. He is currently vice chair of AYM and a Director of the Skill Mill social enterprise.

Andy’s interests are family, sport, music and travelling; he is clinging onto his 5 a side career and probably spends far too much time watching football and cricket.




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