The work of The Skill Mill is intimately connected with the UN Sustainability Development Goals.
The focused work supports young men and women out of the criminal justice system, through paid employment, undertaking meaningful physical work and improving the natural environment.
This aligns with the goals noted:
Goal 1 - End Poverty:
The Skill Mill works exclusively with young people who are disadvantaged in many ways. They are identified foremost by their behaviours which have brought them into the criminal justice system. These behaviours are overwhelmingly symptomatic of poverty. At The Skill Mill all the beneficiaries complete a poverty stoplight questionnaire which has been co-designed by Skill Mill and Poverty Stoplight Foundation in order that they can self-assess poverty indicators and develop an action plan to address the barriers. Furthermore the paid job, skill development and qualifications contribute significantly to lifting the young people out of poverty with ripple effects into their families and communities.
Goal 3 – Good Health:
Employment on the scheme provides a structured environment where the combination of drug and alcohol are not acceptable. As such the ongoing work provides an opportunity for reduced drug and alcohol intake leading to direct benefits for the individuals concerned with positive follow on impacts to their communities. The Skill Mill offers employment which is primarily outdoors and physically challenging. The combination of physical work in nature has demonstrable physical and mental health and wellbeing benefits.
Goal 4 – Quality Education:
Many of the individuals employed by The Skill Mill have not engaged with the education system. As such The Skill Mill provides a structured environment where basic qualifications are secured and with their experience provide a sound basis for ongoing employment.
Goal 6 – Clean Water and Sanitation:
The Skill Mill actively improve water quality by reducing pollution, eliminating dumping. Skill Mill works within the Water Framework Directive and is a partner in the Catchment Area for Tyne and Wear.
Goal 8 – Good jobs and Economic Growth:
The practice of regular routine work helps increase economic productivity and connects job creation with environmental improvement. As a social enterprise The Skill Mill is a highly innovative organisation which is using economic activity to deliver material benefits to society at large and the individuals who it serves. This has been recognised at Government level as a model to be adopted elsewhere. It reduces the number of youth not in employment or education.
Goal 9 - Innovation:
Through co-design and design thinking techniques between Skill Mill and its partners there has been progress in developing innovative approaches to solving the problem of youth crime. The approaches have been recognised in the UK with a number of innovation competitions recognising the practice including The Environment Agency and the Youth Justice Board (England and Wales). Skill Mill is a lead partner for the COST Association Action Multi-Disciplinary Innovation for Social Change.