How can business mentoring support your students?

Our group mentoring programme is aimed at students in years 8-10. Working with volunteers from a local business or organisation, students gain knowledge of opportunities, work-place skills and employability pathways. It aims to inspire and motivate students to raise their aspirations and stay engaged with education. The activities encourage students to set personal goals and work out their own plans for achieving them.

Six sessions take place over a twelve week period. Over time, students build trust and rapport with their adult mentors, helping to improve communication skills and confidence.

Each school is partnered with a local company which supports the programme by providing adult mentors. The mentors are trained and given support from the WEM Project Manager.

Following a tried and tested model, the students build relationships with the volunteer mentors who provide positive role models throughout the programme. Mentors support and advise the students as they work through the activities in small groups.

At least one session of the six (often more) takes place at the business premises. The students have the extra benefit of experiencing the real life working environment.

How can we measure the impact of mentoring?

Six sessions are a short intervention, but they can have surprisingly evident impact on students’ self-esteem, aspirations and participation. We collect qualitative views from students and teachers before and after sessions take place, and are happy to share findings with schools.

We can also include measures requested by the school, such as RONI indicators, attendance, English levels and behaviour.

How students benefit

  • building a trusting relationship with non-judgemental adults
  • real and relevant information on career choices and paths
  • informed advice and guidance
  • modelled employability skills
  • an individualised post-16 plan
  • an insight into the world of work.

“We see a clear difference in students’ effort and attainment from participating. It’s also
interesting that our recent head boys and girls and other students who have stepped forward to run things were also those who had taken part. This year, 60 students heard a
presentation by the previous year’s mentees and mentors, and 55 applied to join the
programme.” 

Teacher, Bristol secondary school

Last year, participating teachers reported that their students showed clear improvements in:

  • Engagement with school activities (100% of responders)
  • Confidence (100% of responders)
  • Resilience (100% of responders)
  • Career goals/knowledge (100% of responders)
  • Improving Behaviour (50% of responders)
  • Knowledge Retrieval Skills (50% of responders)
  • Knowledge Absorption (50% of responders)

“My favourite thing about the group mentoring sessions was how they were teaching us something that we haven’t learnt or thought about before. We found all the people very helpful and encouraging and they all were very kind-hearted people to work with”

Year 9 student

What do schools need to do to participate?

Schools are asked to nominate an internal co-ordinator to manage the referral of students, project participation, timetabling and travel, and to support impact reporting on each student.

Co-ordinators are supported by the WEM Project Manager and often build a great relationship with their partner organisation’s mentoring champion too.

Schools are asked to contribute £50 per student to help cover the costs of delivering mentoring.

Find out more

Call Ceri Bowers, WEM project manager, on 07971533558 or contact us online.