What is Steps Ahead Mentoring?

Two women in conversation

Steps Ahead Mentoring is a free voluntary programme that matches you to local experts who work in HR and learning and development and have experience in recruitment. Over approximately six meet ups your mentor can help you with CV writing, job applications, job hunting and interview preparation.

Across Great Britain, jobseekers are referred to Steps Ahead by 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.

  • 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 to twelve weeks. The meet-ups will normally last for about an hour each and can be face-to-face, by telephone or video chat.

Both you and your mentor are volunteering to be part of the programme, it’s important to keep in touch if you cannot meet or speak 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 different sectors, but their extensive experience of what employers look for will be useful to you, no matter what type of job you want to do.

They have volunteered to take part in the programme and are taking part because they want to share their experience and help you to find work.

You’re now a mentee. You should receive a confirmation email and your registration form will be visible to mentors in your area. The mentors can see only the following information about you:

  • where you are based
  • where you can meet them for mentoring meetings
  • job sector interest
  • why you'd like a mentor
  • how you were referred to the programme (eg via Jobcentre Plus or NCS)

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

Once you receive the notification that you have been matched with a mentor, then you should hear from them by email, text or phone, within 48 hours. 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 do 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 one week of receiving the email which confirms you have been matched to a mentor, please contact the Steps Ahead Mentoring Team via email mentoring@cipd.co.uk.

This is great news, well done. Please email mentoring@cipd.co.uk and we will be able to update your mentee record and remove your profile.

If you have already registered, you will need to make sure we’re aware that you no longer wish to be mentored. Please email mentoring@cipd.co.uk and we 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, 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 mentoring@cipd.co.uk. 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/tablet/phone device, please email mentoring@cipd.co.uk 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.