Mentoring Works – high returns

 In News

Mentors and students participating in this year’s Mentoring Works Sixth Form programme have reached the midway point after five months on the programme.  The programme runs from February to November and students have been covering a range of topics during sessions including interview skills, presentations, CV’s and applications, further education options, work experience, and career pathways.

Approximately 130 students, from schools in Hackney and Islington, are matched to 100 mentors across the current Mentoring Works Sixth Form programme delivered by ELBA and The BIG Alliance.

Hackney schools continue their partnerships with City companies; Freshfields mentors with students from Haggerston School, Linklaters with Clapton Girls’ Academy, Schroders with Mossbourne Community Academy and Aviva Investors with Our Lady’s Convent High School.  Islington partnerships include; Macquarie Group and Charles Russell Speechlys with City and Islington Sixth Form College, Deutsche Bank with City of London Academy Islington and Expedia with City and Islington College, Centre for Business, Arts and Technology.

This year the Mentoring Works team have noted a significant rate of students returning to the programme, having already participated at Year 10, with an average of 30-40% of the Sixth Form cohort having benefited from both programmes.

Student Ali, from Haggerston School, has been meeting with his Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer mentor since February and comments that he has been “really enjoying the sessions with my mentor, covering topics that will really help me”. The topics they’ve looked at so far have included CV skills, revision and time management, with plans for future sessions on applying for universities, preparation for A-level exams and finding work experience.

Ali previously took part in the Mentoring Works’ year 10 programme in 2013 and re-joined in 2016 as he felt the programme would be beneficial to improve his employability skills. Ali comments:

“I had an excellent experience in Year 10 and had the opportunity of being mentored by someone from a top law firm who shared their knowledge and skills with me. By participating again this year I can get more help and also build professional working connections which will help my future career path. I am now aware of how to conduct myself in a professional environment which will give me a competitive advantage when I start applying for jobs”.

After completing his A-levels, Ali plans to study English at university and then aspires to go to law school. His connections with law firm Freshfields should stand him in good stead:

“Being mentored by a corporate solicitor in Year 10 and a financial associate in Year 12, I have gained an understanding of the various subdivisions and practises within law.”

Other mentees who have returned to the programme again in the Sixth Form have also shared their reasons with us and described the benefits. Sixth Form mentoring students from Mossbourne Community Academy told us:

“It helped me build contacts and understand my career options”

“It was the value of that personal interaction with a business person, where the main focus is you”

“It stimulated character growth. It helped me grow as a person. I am now much more extravert and a people person. I really enjoyed the experience and wanted that again, to be able to grow with my mentor”.

ELBA’s Mentoring Works programme was established in 1996 and celebrates 20 years this year. The programme aims to introduce young people to the world of work, raise aspiration, enable students to identify career goal and increase employability through development of seven key competencies; communication, confidence, business awareness, resilience, drive and ambition, self-awareness and adaptability.

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