Steps Ahead Mentoring is a mentoring project run by the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development (CIPD) that matches HR professionals with young jobseekers aged 18 to 24. The project offers young people, most of whom have never worked before, up to six one-to-one mentoring sessions to help them improve their employability, boost their confidence and find work.
The project is entirely not-for-profit in line with the CIPD’s charitable purpose and it is delivered exclusively by volunteers (most of whom are CIPD members, as well as some non-members upon recommendation). CIPD works in collaboration with local Jobcentre Plus offices, which refer the young jobseekers to the scheme. Attendance is not mandatory and young jobseekers register themselves with the programme if they think it can help them in their job search.
The objective is to bring these young jobseekers closer to the labour market and improve their employability skills through individual face-to-face mentoring. Over the course of the project, mentees receive advice and guidance on job search, CV writing and interview techniques. Mentors also help young people to identify their career prospects and build confidence. Steps Ahead mentors come from a variety of backgrounds, but most of them have been on the front line of recruitment and are well-placed to help young jobseekers to increase their chance to access the labour market.
Since Steps Ahead Mentoring was launched in August 2011 it has helped 300 young people into employment and now has over 1,000 volunteer mentors. The project is currently operating in partnership with more than 300 Jobcentre Plus offices across Central England, North East England and North West England. It aims to be operating throughout the UK by 2014.
Submitted by Kelly Duncan.