What mentors are you looking for?
We welcome any employee in a partner company to get involved as a mentor so long as they can commit to the 8 hours over 3 months. We work with mentors from apprentices and graduates to senior leaders. We work with 100s of students and young people, all of whom are looking for different things from mentors.
Is the programme virtual or in-person?
The mentoring programmes will be virtual so that mentors and mentees can get involved from across England. There will also be opportunities for businesses to get involved with in-person career workshops, events, and roundtables, if they would like to.
What’s the time commitment for employees?
8 hours per mentor spread across 3 months.
What are the programme costs for a mentee?
It is totally free for the mentees.
How do you manage safeguarding?
We have worked closely with a safeguarding consultancy (The Athena Programme) to ensure our safeguarding is robust and up to date.
All mentors on our Schools facing programmes will have Enhanced DBSs. All mentoring calls on our Schools facing programmes are recorded. We have a safeguarding lead point of contact at Career Accelerator. We run safeguarding training during our 2 hour mentor training session.
Who do you usually work with in a business to fund and run this?
We typically work with some of the following to secure funding and work together with at partner businesses:
• Executive Sponsors of ERGs
• Learning and Development
• Diversity and Inclusion
• Employee Experience
• Employee Resource Groups
• Head of Talent
What geographical area do you work in?
How do you find mentees?
We find the young people from our Schools Programme from our state school partners in England. We promote the programme to year groups and then select up to 20 students per school through an application form and interview.
For our Neurodiversity and Disability programme, we work with some young people in the way described (applications, relevant youth conferences and word of mouth). For others, we recruit them through school or community partners that they belong to.
Why do you have 3 different programmes?
Our research shows that different diverse demographics have different challenges as they start preparing for careers and progressing. We therefore wanted to provide tailored and focused programmes to each communities of different demographics we work with to ensure we can make as much genuine impact as possible.
What makes you different from other youth organisations?
We have excellent relationships with business partners in a number of growth sectors, including life science, technology and consulting. These partners often ask us to consult with them on youth engagement. Global firms are using our leading-edge work to help tackle disadvantage. We have built a strong alumni network to provide post-programme support. Students can access opportunities such as work experience or additional mentoring. Of the alumni most recently surveyed, 80% agreed that being a member of the network increased their educational or professional opportunities.
How do you ensure the quality assurance of your programme?
Our mentor training is informed by OCM – one of the most respected professional coaching and mentoring firms. Our safeguarding training is informed by safeguarding experts, The Athena Programme. Our mentoring programme has been informed by Teach First, the Young Foundation and the EDI consultancy Unleashed. We have been refining our programme based on mentor and mentee feedback over the last 5 years.
What other things do you do other than mentoring?
For businesses not interested in mentoring , we can provide the following services:
• Organising career workshops
• Inter-company diversity and inclusion roundtables
• Career Accelerator consulting
• Carrying out research together
• Running in-person events with your company