Young people need mentors – like you!

There is a wide range of evidence supporting the key benefits for young people of having an employer mentor, however, many industries and sectors remain heavily underrepresented in providing them.

Launched on Monday 15th January, the next phase of The Careers & Enterprise Company’s #UnexpectedMentor campaign is targeting employees from these underrepresented industries. The campaign is calling on them to volunteer their time and share their experience and skills. The aim is to build a supportive and empathetic relationship to benefit a young person. Evidence shows that for mentoring to be most effective, role models need to be relatable to the young person they are supporting.

The Careers & Enterprise Company initially launched its #UnexpectedMentor campaign in October 2017, to attract new mentors, representative of the whole population. The campaign sets out to change perceptions of who can be a mentor. But data from the first phase shows that many sectors and industries are still significantly underrepresented. Whilst there are exceptions, mentors currently come from relatively similar backgrounds and a limited variety of professions, such as the financial and service sectors.

In contrast, very few mentors come from sectors such as manufacturing, retail and transportation – the three making up less than 10% of recent volunteers.

Employer mentoring is increasingly seen as a valuable way of supporting young people, helping them stay engaged at school and making a successful transition into the world of work. The many positive outcomes associated with employer mentoring include improvements in behaviour, engagement and attainment.

Claudia Harris, Chief Executive of the Careers & Enterprise Company said:

“Many people assume that you need to work in an office and be in a senior role to become a mentor.  But, in reality, people from all walks of life and with all types of experience have the potential to be a great mentor. The most effective mentors are relatable – people who may themselves have left education recently or have similar backgrounds or interests to the young person they’re mentoring.

Businesses need to work with schools and colleges to genuinely achieve diversity in their workforces. There is a huge opportunity for a much more diverse set of mentors across England and we are calling on people to sign up now, to help our young people to prepare for brighter futures.”

To become an Unexpected Mentor and share your skills and experience with a young person, visit careersandenterprise.co.uk/mentoring