Do you need a helping hand getting your career started? Perhaps you need advice on interview technique, or maybe you aren’t sure where to begin when it comes to finding a job.

We’re here to help. Our free programme will match you with an expert in the world of work, who can give you the practical advice and confidence needed to help you find and secure work.

What is Steps Ahead Mentoring?

Steps Ahead is a free national mentoring programme supporting young people (aged 18-24) and parents or carers looking to return to work. It’s delivered by the CIPD, a registered charity that champions better work and working lives.

The programme offers one-to-one mentoring support from people who are experts in recruiting, developing and retaining employees in organisations. Mentors volunteer their unique insight and knowledge of the world of work to equip you with the skills, knowledge and confidence needed to thrive in employment.

Your mentor will give you advice and support on your CV, application forms, finding a job, interview technique and more. You will gain confidence and feel prepared to start your career of choice.

Sessions take place remotely (over telephone, email and/or video conferencing) and are flexible to your needs and aspirations.

In response to the pandemic, our key focus at present is supporting young people (18-24 years old), who are most impacted by unemployment as a result of coronavirus. However we are still supporting parents and carers who want to return to work after a career break.

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My first meeting was really nerve wracking for me. I thought, 'Oh, what's my mentor going to think?' But I turned up and she was so great. She was so welcoming and completely put me at ease. We just talked about what I wanted out of the mentoring scheme and what kind of path I wanted to take.


Young jobseeker, Liskeard, Cornwall

Speaking to a professional who recognised my ability, skills and potential, gave me a lot of confidence. Also having professional guidance and mentoring on how to answer key questions in interviews was very useful. The mentoring sessions have allowed me to reconnect with the person I was before my career break. I feel much more confident and aware of my capabilities from the mentoring I received.


Parent returner, Manchester

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I thought my CV was good to begin with but Katrina [my mentor] made me see things I hadn't even considered. It was a great help to analyse how the language I had used would be portrayed. Katrina would take me through mock interviews and ask difficult questions so I was well prepared and confident in my answers when it came to interviews and assessment centres. I have no doubt that Katrina’s mentoring was a massive contributor to securing a great job I wanted.


Young jobseeker, Musselburgh, Scotland

My mentor greatly helped me and tailored all my sessions to what was most beneficial for me. In between the sessions she was available to contact over email for any questions that I had. It was useful that my mentor worked in HR. She helped me to break down the job description and what key points to pull out and include in my application and cover letter.


Young jobseeker, East London