How does Steps Ahead mentoring work?

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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.

You don’t need to have any formal mentoring qualifications to take part.

It's a great opportunity for you to develop your own skills, such as:

  • mentoring
  • coaching
  • providing feedback
  • handling sensitive situations
  • applying your professional knowledge
  • working with different age groups

As a mentor you would provide face to face or virtual support to a job seeker in the community. This takes the form of 1-1 mentoring sessions to support them back into employment. You will agree with the mentee their objectives and guide and steer them to achieve these. This could be any of the following or others you may set together:

  • reviewing their career goals and identifying sectors they may wish to work
  • giving top tips on effective job searching
  • increasing their knowledge on flexible working options
  • helping them improve their confidence
  • working with them on their CV, applications or interview skills

We also have Volunteer Steps Ahead Ambassadors. As an Ambassador for the Steps Ahead mentoring programme, you’ll promote the programme to mentee referral partners, including Jobcentre Plus, in order to drive an increase in the number and quality of jobseeker referrals onto the programme. We’d also like you to promote the Steps Ahead programme to CIPD members through local CIPD Branches.

For more details read the Mentor and Ambassador Role Profiles below. As part of your volunteer relationship with us, you are also asked to be familiar with the Mentor Agreement Form which you can view from the file attached below. You can’t start mentoring unless you sign this form which will be attached to the email once you register with us.

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.

Yes, we have three free online training webinars we provide for mentors which are:

  • Introduction to mentoring
  • Mentoring young jobseekers
  • Mentoring parent and carer returners

The webinars are each an hour long and are very interactive. We ask new mentors to attend at least one of these webinars within three months of registering on Steps Ahead.

We also have a range of support resources available to mentors via our online mentoring portal which can be accessed at any time.