Thank you for your interest in becoming a Steps Ahead mentor. By signing up, you could make a real difference to a young person’s life.

New mentees can access the programme through referral partner organisations who refer them to Steps Ahead, such as JobCentre Plus. Jobseekers can now also refer themselves, without needing to go through a third party, by signing up directly on our website.

As a mentor, you will provide one-to-one mentoring support, volunteering your time and expertise on how to find and secure a job, as well as equipping mentees with essential skills needed to thrive in employment, helping to develop their confidence and skills leaving them in better position to find work.

The volunteering opportunity is open to CIPD members at all levels.

Sessions are currently taking place remotely (telephone, email or video conferencing). Our key focus is supporting young people (18-24 years old), who are most impacted by unemployment as a result of coronavirus, but we are still supporting parents and carers who want to return to work after a career break.

We are currently offering the programme in an extended format, Steps Ahead Plus. We are working on developing a bite-sized format focusing on specific employment issues, which will be ready soon.

Steps Ahead Plus allows mentors to work with mentees over a period of several weeks, having a lasting impact by helping someone on their journey to start their career of choice. It includes:

  • One-to-one free remote support of up to 22 weeks, with a minimum of six one-hour sessions.

  • Structured support including advice on CVs, application forms, LinkedIn profiles, cover letters, mock interviews and practical advice and support to succeed in work.

  • Guidance with developing and promoting transferable essential skills.
  • Mentoring and coaching skills
  • Support your Continual Professional Development (CPD)
  • Meet new people, broaden your network and be exposed to new perspectives
  • Increased awareness of jobseeker challenges
  • Enjoy a new challenge and change someone’s life
  • Help tackle unemployment

You would provide one-to-one remote support to help jobseekers be in a better position to find work.

Agree with the mentee their objectives and guide them to achieve these. This could include:
  • Tips on effective job searching
  • Helping improve their confidence
  • Working with them on their CV, applications or interview skills
  • Building professional networks
  • Reviewing their career goals and identifying potential sectors
  • Increasing their knowledge on flexible working options

We also have volunteer Steps Ahead Ambassadors, experienced mentors who volunteer to promote the programme to partners to increase the number of jobseeker referrals. Ambassadors also volunteer to promote the programme to local CIPD Branches.

For further information about these opportunities, read the role profile and mentor agreement below.

By becoming a Steps Ahead mentor you commit to the following:

  • Be and remain a CIPD member
  • Minimum 12-month involvement in the programme
  • Complete the Steps Ahead Mentoring Agreement and adhere to its expectations
  • Participate in at least one training webinar, within three months of registering
  • Support at least one mentee within three months of joining*
  • Mentor at least once every 12 months*

*Dependent on whether there are available job seekers

As a Steps Ahead mentor, we expect you to:

  • Match with a least one mentee every 12 months (a max of three at any one time)
  • Complete training within three months of registration and before matching with a jobseeker
  • Familiarise yourself with the support resources and the Mentoring Agreement
  • Explain your role and remit to the jobseeker
  • Be supportive and encouraging, willing to share life experiences
  • Set goals and expectations
  • Provide free support at mutually agreed times
  • Respect privacy and confidentiality
  • Safely dispose of personal data at end of relationship
  • Complete a post evaluation survey and encourage mentees to complete it too

Yes, we have free training webinars which include:

  • Introduction to mentoring
  • Intermediate level mentoring
  • Mentoring young people

The webinars last an hour and are interactive. Mentors are expected to attend at least one within three months of registering for the programme.

We also provide support resources on our Steps Ahead Mentoring portal.