Blue Sky

Social care and welfare - Blue Sky

Reducing reoffending through employment

Blue Sky has a distinctive USP - to work there you need a criminal record. Established as a social enterprise offering a “proper job with a proper company”, it aimed to win commercial work against private sector competition. Starting with two grounds maintenance contracts it has since diversified into areas such as recycling.

Although having a job has the greatest single impact on reducing re-offending, three quarters of all prisoners are released to unemployment. The Blue Sky model provides a blueprint for how local authority commissioning can be used to generate social benefit at no extra cost. Blue Sky estimates that it is creating jobs at a net cost of £4,000 per head, when the cost to society of each ex-offender who re-offends is upward of £250,000.

Praised by the judges as “very impressive” Blue Sky founder and chief executive Mick May summarises its success with some compelling statistics. “Over the five years since it was set up, we have employed nearly 300 ex-offenders - that's greater than the entire inmate population of some of Britain's prisons. And of these, less than 15 per cent have re-offended, a quarter of the national average.”

Tony Williams is 35 years old and has worked for Blue Sky since 2005. Until the age of 30 he was involved in a wide range of offences to support his drug habit. “Blue Sky has helped change my life. It’s the only thing that ever worked for me. I’ve been on other programmes, but they haven’t worked.”



Mick May
Chief executive
Blue Sky Development and Regeneration
The Colne Valley Park Centre
Denham Court Drive
01895 839 848
Reg no: 1118372

Blue Sky


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