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When the Going Gets Tough: Skill Mill, CEG and Leeds City Council team up to get young people back t

Well, the tough just get going. In this cliché ridden article we want to point out a few special organisations and people who deserve special recognition. Sure, in adversity there are those who rise to the challenge more than others. It’s got a lot to do with DNA and we’re not just talking about double helix. It’s those people and organisations that always respond positively and see opportunities to do things to help their fellow human beings, not more reason not to. It’s inbuilt in the way the people and organisations think and behave. Covid-19 has brought out the best in many of us. Not least Leeds City Council. A Local Authority with a strong track record in public service innovation, leadership and protection of children and young people.

Maybe there is a specific West Yorkshire strand of DNA as we also need to recognise CEG for their continued ability to see the wood from the trees. They certainly know how to increase value and Skill Mill CEG partnership has delivered great value time and time again. CEG who are developing the Kirkstall Forge site in Leeds, working with Skill Mill over the past 4 years and helped over 30 young people out of criminal lifestyles and into long-term employment. Improvements have been made to the Krirkstall Forge site while providing valuable training skills and work experience for skill mill cohorts.

Covid-19 has placed a new lens over everything for all of us. It’s not surprising that organisations like CEG and Leeds City Council, and people like Jonathan Moxon at LCC and Howard Metcalf at CEG emerge as great leaders in this crisis. They have always been that and Covid-19 has provided the opportunity for those people to shine. Leeds City Council had identified the Skill Mill approach early on to help young offenders into work and it’s through co-operation with Jon that Skill Mill can deliver services to the community.

Skill Mill prides itself in its ability to seek out like-minded people and organisations who want to change lives of those most disadvantaged but won’t compromise on quality and standards.

Skill Mill was this week confirmed in the NatWest top 100 Social EnterpriseIndex 2020. You’ve probably already heard of the FTSE 100. The NatWest100 is similar but for Social Enterprises only and recognises Social Enterprises who create social value and jobs. Due diligence is undertaken to ensure that outcomes are validated and making this list is the culmination of over 6 years hard work. It’s through collaboration with organisations like Leeds City Council and CEG, Jon Moxon and Howard Metcalf and many others that has helped get us there.

Skill Mill will resume operations in Kirkstall Forge today. As Mahatma Gandhi said, “the true measure of any society can be found in how it treats its most vulnerable”, then Leeds City Council and CEG are the truly among the most evolved. Getting young people and particularly those at risk into work is going to be very challenging in post Covid-19 world and we are certainly leading the way. Thank you to West Yorkshire Police and Crime Commissioner for ongoing vital financial help.

Thank you to all the partners who are also struggling at this time and still helping keep Skill Mill operating through this crisis and out the other side.

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