There is compelling evidence that a young person who has four or more encounters with an employer is 86% less likely to become unemployed or not in education or training post 16 years. Currently less than half of schools nationally are providing these opportunities to young people and in parts of the West of England region this figure is significantly lower.
The WEM Mentoring Programme has the additional benefit of addressing this issue by ‘bringing together employers and schools to give young people multiple opportunities to get to know the world of work, understand what work is, explore their options and build real confidence about their future.
To date 25% of the regions schools are participating in the programme and we aim to increase this to a third in 2019. Last school year 20 groups of students totalling 310 students took part in the programme. WEM trained over 130 business mentors and there was a total of 1550 work place visits by students involved.
Evaluation data collected to date shows that our programme is having a tangible, positive impact on young people who take part with 97% being more confident in themselves and their ability to make decisions, 100% having better knowledge of careers and 98% understanding and improving skills for employment. Schools report that behaviour and confidence dramatically increases post programme participation for a majority of students.
Mentors gain new and improve practical skills such as presentation skills, active listening and facilitation. They also have a deeper understanding of the ’employees of tomorrow’ and what that means for the business in terms of increasing diversity and inclusion