Business mentoring

One to one mentoring for young people aged 14/15 with a focus on progression and employment

A developmental programme for young people to benefit from a sustained relationship with an adult who is not their parent or a teacher. Volunteer mentors are sought from local businesses to train and be matched with young people. Young people are offered the programme for reasons of borderline academic achievement, social disadvantage, low aspiration or aspirations beyond their immediate family experience.

Mentoring takes place outside of school hours – but usually at the school site – supervised by a member of the pastoral support team for the school. Meetings last for about an hour and take please roughly every three weeks over a school year (10 plus meetings in total).

Mentors are trained in communication skills, rapport building, planning and are given an overview of the current education system. They are supports in preparation for the match with a student and are also offered on going support during the programme.

How this resource relates to Shaping Characters objectives

  • Attitudes and attributes
  • Innovative approach
  • Motivation and resilience
  • Partnership working

Actual outcomes

Mentoring relationships show improved engagement with education, greater levels of attendance, higher attainment and improved progression against expected standards at the start of the process.

Further research evidence is available in the what works resource attached.

Resources required

Volunteer mentors

Co-ordinator resource to handle volunteers, train them, establish the relationship with the school and deal with issues as they arise.

Training materials (attached)

DBS checking system (criminal record checking for child safeguarding)

How was it funded?

Funding has come for this project historically through local businesses providing cash funding (around £300 per student matched).

Currently a national campaign is supporting an expansion of the work at a rate of £200 for student matched.

Time needed

Volunteers time is two training sessions of two hours and then around three hours a month for an academic year.

Co-ordinator time is around one day per week per 20 volunteers

School lead time is around three hours a month.

What could have been done differently or is planned for future repeats?

There is great variety in the approaches taken by schools to the mentoring offer, greater clarity at outset can assist with the correct identification of potential beneficiary students.

Improved volunteer management is also important as they are the lifeblood of the project – this needs dedicated time from the co-ordinator.

Links to related resource files

Contact information