Shaun tells us about how he helps young people at the Skill Mill by passing on his knowledge and the satisfaction he feels as they gain confidence as they apply their new skills.
My name is Shaun and I’m a supervisor for the Skill Mill. The aim of the Skill Mill is to employ young people for six months who are NEET (Not In Employment, Education or Training.) The young people also have to attend college at Houghall in Durham with their Tutor Dawn, who is brilliant with the lads and lasses and they gain their level 1 City and Guilds in Land Based Studies. We work in partnership with the Environment Agency, Local Councils and Esh Group.
Most of the work we do is mainly in and around water courses, removing blockages, clearing blocked culverts, trimming back overgrown vegetation and removing shopping trollies and the like. We also built a sand bag wall, which the lads absolutely loved. All to reduce the risk of flooding, help the environment and to encourage wildlife back in these areas we work in.
The young people also work alongside the environment Agency on certain jobs which is fantastic as the young people learn so much from all the field staff, how to work safely and as a team. The field staff are great with the young people, they are in my opinion positive role models for the lads and lasses.
When working on the Skill Mil there comes a time when on a job it clicks with the lads and this is the point when they work on their own initiative, without instruction. They risk assess, delegate who’s doing what and best of all work as a team. This is when I know they have took in all the information and learned from myself, Neil, Dawn and the Environment Agency when working on the sites.
I know from that point that they will do well in the future when they leave the Skill Mill and hopefully progress to further employment as I’ve watched them mature and changed their lifestyles to that of young adults that have a routine and skills, who want to work and can work.
The Skill Mill
A range of stories told by the young people, staff and partners involved with the Skill Mill.