Great news, you've been referred to the CIPD’s Steps Ahead Mentoring programme. If you're a jobseeker aged 18-24, older than 50*, or a parent or carer returning to work*, you can sign up to Steps Ahead Mentoring.

Our mentors will help you improve your employability skills, boost your confidence, and get you on the path to employment. 

Sign up today in three simple steps:

  1. Register a few details online.

  2. Keep an eye on your emails for confirmation you’re signed up.

  3. Wait for your mentor to get in touch - usually within 2-3 weeks.

*Steps Ahead Mentoring is available to parents and carers returning to work, and jobseekers older than 50, in selected areas only. If you haven’t been referred to the programme by one of our referral partners (e.g. Jobcentre Plus), please contact to check whether the programme is running in your area before completing the registration form.

The CIPD hopes to be in a position to offer Steps Ahead Mentoring support to parents and carers returning to work, and jobseekers 50 and over, in more areas in the future.

Watch our CIPD Steps Ahead Mentoring video

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Steps Ahead Mentoring video

My mentor was Joseph. He was everything I’d hoped for – I only wish I’d met him earlier. I realised that while advice from family and friends is good, getting it from an experienced HR professional is in a different league.


former jobseeker from London

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

I learnt you need to be confident about what you are capable of doing. Often you will have more skills than you think.


former jobseeker from Dorset

When you're unemployed for a while you feel very negative. The most important thing Keeley (my mentor) did for me was to change my mind set.


Artistic Programmer

View their story

More questions? Read our FAQs

  • A free voluntary programme that matches you with local employers who have experience of recruitment.
  • Over approximately six meet ups your mentor can help you with CV writing, job applications, job hunting and interview preparation.
  • Gain confidence and come across as professional and presentable during interviews.
  • Talk about your goals and work interests, and get advice on the areas you feel you may struggle with, for example application forms and covering letters.
  • Learn where to find suitable work opportunities in your local area.
  • Talk to a professional in a relaxed and informal environment at a time that suits you both, this could be at your local café or library.
  • If you successfully complete the mentoring we will send you an official CIPD Certificate of Completion. The certificate will be emailed to you first, but we can also provide a paper copy if requested.
  • The programme is flexible, it’s up to you and your mentor to agree details but it normally involves regular meetings over a period of around eight weeks. The meet-ups will normally last for about an hour each.
  • Both you and your mentor are volunteering to be part of the programme, it’s important to keep in touch if you cannot meet at an agreed time.
  • The mentors are all members of the CIPD, the professional body for HR and people development. They work in all kinds of organisations, across lots of different sectors, but their extensive experience of what employers look for should be useful to you, not matter what type of job you want to do.
  • They have volunteered to take part in the programme and are doing it because they want to share their experience and help you to find work.

To get a mentor you need to fill in a registration form on our secure online portal. The application should take no more than 5 minutes and the information helps to ensure you are matched with the right mentor.

You’re now a mentee. You should receive a confirmation email and your registration form will be visible to mentors in your area. Don't worry, not all of your details will be available at this stage. The mentors can see only the following information:

  • your home town
  • where you can meet them for mentoring meetings
  • job sector interest
  • why you'd like a mentor
  • how you were referred to the programme (e.g. via Jobcentre Plus or NCS)

Once you are matched with a mentor, you should receive an email to confirm the match. At this stage they will have access to your contact details and will get in touch to introduce themselves. You will also be able to see your mentors contact details if you log back on to the portal.

On average, once the mentors match themselves to a new mentee, it can take up to 7 days for a mentor to make contact. Sometimes the response will be immediate but it all depends on when the matching is done and so on. Your new mentor will usually contact you via email initially and then may try to call or text you on the telephone number you have provided on your registration form. So be sure to check your emails (including your 'Junk Folder') on a regular basis and make sure you check your voicemail for any messages.

If you don't hear from a mentor within two weeks of receiving the email which confirms you have been matched to a mentor, please contact the Steps Ahead Mentoring Team via email

This is great news, well done. Please email and they will be able to update your records and remove your profile.

It’s fine to do this, but, if you have already registered, you will need to make sure we’re aware that you no longer wish to be mentored. Please email and they will be able to update your records and remove your profile.

If you don't receive a confirmation email once you have submitted your registration form, first, please check your 'Junk Folder' in your email inbox. There is a chance that it might be in there.

If there isn't an email in your 'Junk Folder' then please email the Steps Ahead Mentoring Team at We will have access to the registration site and be able to confirm if we have received your details.

Once you’ve checked your internet connection and PC/laptop/device, please email outlining the problem.

On the portal login page there is a 'forgot my password' button. Please use this to generate an email to your account which will allow you to re-set your password.