In Funding, Skills

The Careers and Enterprise Company has recently launched a request for bids from organisations to deliver its National Mentoring Campaign at a regional level. The objective is to grow the number of high-quality, employer-led mentoring relationships across England, ensuring that each year 25,000 young people at risk of disengagement in the run-up to their GCSEs have a mentor in place by 2020.

Local enterprise partnerships have been asked to provide a list of priorities for mentoring in schools in the region, to help organisations ensure their bid is sufficiently regionalised.

Michelle Rainbow, Skills Programme Manager at the North East LEP, gives her guidance on the priorities:

To ensure the continued economic growth of the North East region, developing young people with appropriate skills, attitudes, behaviours and qualifications is a key focus of our Strategic Economic Plan (SEP).

We are leading innovative initiatives that support schools, teachers , students and business to bridge the gap between education and the world of work, helping to shape a more ‘joined-up’ and collaborative approach to business engagement in education.

The North is LEP is leading the ‘Career Benchmarks’ national pilot, testing the implementation of the eight benchmarks of ‘Good Career Guidance’ outlined by the Gatsby Foundation. Two benchmarks focus on the important role of employers – specifically, providing the framework to inspire students towards further study, enable them to make informed decisions about career choices and help them to understand enough about the world of work to know what skills they need to develop to succeed in it. This work is important to social mobility in the North East because it helps open students’ eyes to careers they may not have considered. The eight benchmarks provide schools and colleges with a comprehensive structure as to what makes a good, effective and meaningful programme. One of the ‘key’ characteristics of the Gatsby Good Careers Guide is that to ‘fully’ achieve each of the eight benchmarks ‘all and every’ student across Key Stages 3, 4 and 5 should be actively involved and benefit from that involvement.

The Careers and Enterprise Company’s Enterprise Adviser Network initiative provides schools with volunteers drawn from businesses who will work directly with the school’s leadership team to develop effective employer engagement plans which focus on supporting schools with Benchmarks five and six.

The National Mentoring Campaign through the Careers and Enterprise Company should create positive human connections that empower and motivate both the business mentor and mentee. Young people with mentors, especially those who are at risk of disengagement, have more positive visions of themselves and their futures, and achieve more positive outcomes in schools, work and life.

In the North East, we believe business mentoring can be designed in such a way to help deliver the SEP and would expect potential mentoring programmes to align with our regional priorities, adopt and support the implementation of the career benchmarks by clearly demonstrating how the potential programme will contribute to supporting particular groups of students within the ‘all and every’ agenda. It is important that any mentoring programme complements and extends (rather than duplicates) any existing provision in the region and that any programme is clearly focused to address identified needs. The programme must also clearly demonstrate how businesses will be identified, approached and engaged in the region and how this work will support the very successful Enterprise Adviser initiative – ensuring businesses are supported to deliver high quality, focused and impactful work with young people.

If your organisation is interested in bidding for funding for the Mentoring campaign, please download the following documents:

To contact Michelle for more information, call 0191 338 7439 or email [email protected]

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