Fusion Network Mentoring: Supporting Our Young People To Transition Into The World Of Work

Earlier this year, BIG Alliance launched its first cohort of the Fusion Mentoring programme, in collaboration with Macquarie Group’s (Macquarie’s) Fusion Network – an employee network group which seeks to empower colleagues of different races, ethnicities, cultures, and faiths.

This programme matches mentors and Islington-based mentees, aged 18-25, from ethnically diverse backgrounds, for a period of six months. The aim is to support the young people as they navigate their lives through education and employment, through monthly meetings with their mentors.

Both Macquarie and BIG Alliance are all too aware of the barriers that people from Black, Asian and Ethnic Minority groups might face in education and employment. For example, Black Training and Enterprise Group (BTEG) – an Islington based charity – reports that Black men are twice as likely to be unemployed as White men. These barriers can be attributed to a combination of factors, one of which is differential access to opportunities that provide insight into career pathways and the chance to network with established professionals. The Fusion Mentoring programme seeks to address this challenge, providing mentees with the chance to learn from those who have already navigated the complexities of the professional world.

Jessica Alleyne, employee at Macquarie said:

“I joined the programme as a mentor so I could help share some career advice and insights with a young person, especially a young person from a Black, Asian or Minority Ethnic background. It is something I would have liked to have when I was younger so I thought it could be a valuable experience. I think within Black History Month especially, it’s even more important to give back to our community in any ways we can, big or small, such as sharing our knowledge, experience and insights with each other. It’s a really meaningful experience to mentor and I would really encourage everyone to take some time out to share their experiences with a young person.”

Mentees on the Fusion Mentoring programme have reported a range of benefits from their relationships with their mentors, including learning about different industries, getting guidance on working towards goals, and receiving tailored support around employment, such as CV support and interview preparation, based on their ambitions.

One of the mentees spoke of their experience on the programme:

“My mentor has been excellent. She is always encouraging and affirming of me and my goals. I am so honoured to have had her mentor me. With her support, I know my dreams are achievable.”

Charlene McIntosh, Chair of the Fusion Network, said:

“Macquarie’s Fusion Network is excited to be working with the BIG Alliance on this mentoring programme. At Macquarie, we believe that all young people should be given equal opportunities to achieve their full potential, and we hope that our mentors will help the young people of Islington do exactly that.”

The programme will run until the end of the calendar year, and we look forward to partnering with the Fusion Network on future initiatives that support Islington’s young people to reach their potential.

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