Steps Ahead Mentoring offers jobseekers one-to-one mentoring sessions to help them improve their employability skills, boost their confidence and find work. From using your knowledge of the recruitment process, to helping a jobseeker build their self-esteem, improve their CV or prepare for an interview. Your support and skills can make a real difference.

Join over 3,000 volunteers and develop your mentoring and coaching skills, boost your confidence, enhance your organisation’s reputation in the local area, and help us tackle unemployment.

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Mentoring is different - it means helping someone establish themselves on their career and life path. You have a chance to make a real contribution and difference to someone and that is immensely rewarding.

Barry Hoffman

Group HR Director, Computacenter

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My mentor has given me a much clearer understanding of what the recruiter is looking for and how to write about my experience.


former jobseeker from Coventry

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I found that helping [Sophie] also really helped me in my understanding – and it’s really incredibly rewarding watching somebody blossom in front of you.

Katie Sloggett

Senior HR Professional

Across England, Scotland and Wales, jobseekers are referred to Steps Ahead by Jobcentre Plus Work Coaches, and other selected partners. The programme is currently available to young jobseekers (aged 18-24) and parent and carer returners. We spent a year piloting the programme supporting age 50+ Jobseekers in West London. We are currently reviewing how we will further support older jobseekers in the future before launching it in different regions, we’ll keep our mentors updated.

Of the hundreds of people who have completed the programme since it originally launched as a pilot in 2012, nearly three-quarters have gone on to find work or work experience – proof of the fantastic impact CIPD members can have!

Steps Ahead mentors are required to be a CIPD member (any level) to take part.

In 2015 we piloted the programme with other job seeker groups including older workers and parent returners, and we’re currently working with Timewise, supporting parents and carers returning to work in North West England. We hope that we’ll be able to offer the support to those groups in more locations in the future.

Steps Ahead Mentoring meets the CIPD's overall charity objective to champion better work and working lives by:

  1. improving the employability of jobseekers and ultimately bring them closer to the labour market.
  2. fostering better understanding by the HR profession of the challenges disadvantaged jobseekers face.
  3. providing HR practitioners with the opportunity to develop their coaching and mentoring skills.

You can read more about the learning and development gains to be made via participating in volunteering in our recent Volunteering to learn: Employee development through community action report.

Other ways to get involved

Even if you can’t become a mentor, there are other ways you can help improve the job prospects of young people.

  • If you don't feel that a mentoring or volunteering role is right for you, why not take on a young jobseeker for work experience? Read our leaflet Making work experience work: top tips for employers for more information on offering work experience.
  • Are you willing to spare a couple of hours of your time to volunteer at a local school, to help students with their CVs, conduct a mock interview or deliver a careers insight talk? If so, then find out about the Inspiring the Future initiative.