Meet Kobe: How an SCL education traineeship changed his life

Kobe Lyon, a recent graduate of SCL Education’s employability and skills traineeship, kickstarted a promising career in telecommunications after joining Forging Futures, a skill centre based at Kirkstall Forge in Leeds 

The Forging Futures Campus connects its learners with partners in the local area, including the Skill Mill, where Kobe began his journey. The Skill Mill is a social enterprise that provides young people who have been involved in the Youth Justice system a chance to experience work and training, and ultimately, change their lives. 

This was certainly the case for Kobe, who was gang affiliated prior to joining the employability and skills traineeship, delivered by SCL Education at Forging Futures.

Managing Director of I Consult Ltd and ICON Group, a Skill Mill partner, Ewan Metcalf, said: “Kobe was a model student and worker. He was clearly ready to change his ways and the Skill Mill provided structure to his life and gave him hope, belief and aspirations greater than he’d had before.”

Kobe was referred to the SCL Education employability and skills programme as an internal progression from the Skill Mill, demonstrating ambition and a great attitude from the start. On first meeting Kobe, Ewan asked him what he wanted to get out of the programme. Kobe replied: “I want to get a job, prove myself by working hard and show what I’m worth. When I’m successful—not if, but when—I want to come and talk to other kids like me, give them hope and show you can do it.”

Kobe’s wish came true, as he successfully completed his education programme and a 15-week work placement with Make Happen Group, who later offered him a job at the ICON Group Inspiring Awards as an apprentice telecommunications engineer.

A great achievement such as Kobe’s didn’t come easily: he was made homeless during the course, but was supported to continue and a place at a hostel was found for him, meaning he only missed one day of his studies.

SCL Education programmes, such as the employability and skills traineeship that Kobe was a part of, support young people to unlock their potential and discover a fulfilling future career with endless possibilities.

Stuart Allen, SCL Education Group’s Operations Director of Education and School Services said: “Kobe’s journey from hardship to becoming an apprentice in his chosen field is testament to the work our education partners do in ensuring SCL Education programmes are delivered to learners who show true commitment and drive to succeed. I am proud to be a part of an initiative that gives young people the opportunity to learn on the job and gain key skills that they can apply to the world of work or further study. Our employability and skills traineeship breaks down barriers to learning and gives young people a second chance when they need it most.”

Kobe is now an ambassador for the Forging Futures Campus and has fulfilled his dream of returning to deliver a talk to a new cohort of learners on his journey from the streets to a full time apprenticeship.


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