ELBA’s Mentoring Works programme matches Year 10 and Sixth Form students to volunteer business mentors working in the City of London and Canary Wharf

Established in 1996, ELBA’s Mentoring Works programme matches Year 10 and Sixth Form students to volunteer business mentors working in the City of London and Canary Wharf. Mentoring Works supports mentees to develop the knowledge and skills needed for future education, training or careers.

Across the Year 10 and Sixth Form programmes we work with hundreds of young people and mentors each year within the London Boroughs of Hackney and Haringey. Our geographic focus has been on those areas that are positioned high on the Indices of Deprivation. We acknowledge that students from these areas may benefit from being connected to opportunities and contacts that they might not otherwise access, in order to aid social mobility.

The programme is voluntary and open to all students who must self-refer and schedule sessions that are held after school and undertaken in their own time. Students are matched to mentors and travel to the mentor’s place of work each fortnight, for one hour sessions over the course of a ten month programme. The Mentoring Works team recruit, DBS check, train and support both mentees and mentors and work closely with all participants, schools and companies throughout the year to ensure relationships are working effectively.

Sessions explore the programme’s key competency framework – designed to enable young people to be ready for work – but can also be tailored to individual needs and interests. Mentoring Works provides ongoing resources and materials for sessions, as well as supporting mentors to implement their own ideas.

Mentoring provides broad support with increasing aspiration, employability skills and knowledge of career options and future pathways. Matching a student to an adult who takes an interest in their progress gives considerable motivation to those who may lack access to tailored and personalized support at home or school. Mentors are encouraged to become a professional adult friend and guide their student in making their own discoveries and decisions.

Mentoring Works aims:

  • Introduce young people to the world of work
  • Raise aspirations
  • Enable students to identify career goals
  • Increase employability through the development of seven key competencies; communication, confidence, business awareness, resilience, drive and ambition, self-awareness and adaptability.


“Mentoring Works has been the best experience ever and we couldn’t have asked for a better mentor. We have grown so much in confidence, grown as people and flowered. It has been fun and amazing. We now know what employers are looking for, how to present ourselves and how to find a job. We have tapped into a deeper meaning, discovered who we are and built a firm foundation for wherever we wish to go from here. We are very grateful and now have a better chance of a better future.”
Mentee, Mentoring Works

“Mentoring provided a wonderful opportunity for me to help with the next generation of bright young things. It’s been really great to help her on that journey and to keep my eyes open to the community and the world around us.”
Mentor, Mentoring Works

“The most positive benefit for our students was building their confidence. It assists students with aspects of their life not linked to academic work and acts as a support system.”
School Coordinator, Mentoring Works

“The programme allows volunteers of any background to use their skills and experiences and to develop those skills in new and meaningful ways. It also allows us to reach a good number of students but in a really high impact and bespoke way, meaning they get a lot more out of it.”
Company Coordinator, Mentoring Works

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