A young person who is able to draw on the experience of a practitioner in the area or areas of work they are considering working in has an advantage over his or her counterparts. A Work-Link Mentor is just such a practitioner.
In a recent survey of over two hundred Further Education (FE) learners in three General Further Education colleges, 72% felt a Work-Link Mentor would be useful; 74% did not know somebody doing the job role they were aspiring to.
According to ‘Digital Trends’, in the UK alone, in 2014 there were 2.52 million economically inactive 16-24 year olds. In England if you were born on or after the 1st September 1997 it is now mandatory to be engaged in some form of education and training. The number of NEETS, (Not in Education, Employment or Training) though reducing remains high at around 700,000. This problem is not limited to the UK being prevalent throughout Europe and particularly in Southern Europe.
Work-Link mentoring takes place using predominantly CMC (Computer Mediated Communications) such as email, Skype, texting etc. This type of E-mentoring is becoming increasingly more effective as communications technologies continue to improve. In 2012 there were over 6 billion mobile phones in use Worldwide and In 2014 according to ‘Digital Trends’ the number of mobile phones for the first time exceeded the world’s population of 7.3 billion. Janasz & Godshalk, in their 2013 paper estimated there were more than two billion internet users, 665% growth since 2000.
On the mentor supply side, there is a need and frequently a desire for commercial organisations to engage with their communities. In tandem there is an ageing demographic with a significant increase in the number of experienced people with both vocational expertise and a good knowledge of communications technologies. This rich resource should be available for our young people to tap into. It is conceivable that in this mature pool of talent there is perhaps a collective desire to salve consciences resulting from a general perception that in the UK their generation has benefitted at a cost to the current 16-24 demographic. There is also an acute awareness of the social and financial costs associated with an ageing population. Public sector cuts have limited the contact time young people have with their teachers, lecturers, tutors and careers officers. Families are stretched, and where both parents are present, both may work with reduced opportunities for semi-formal family discussion and support for their children.
Compared to traditional mentoring, (t-mentoring), Work-Link mentoring offers through CMC a flexible, geographically unrestrained and cost effective method, of supporting 16-24 year olds in developing self and career awareness through motivation and guidance during this formative part of their lives to help maintain focus, direction and momentum through the start of their career journey.
The ultimate goal is for all 16-24 year olds in the UK to be supported by Work-Link Mentors as a moral or legislated requirement.
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Work-Link Mentors Community Interest Company is a UK registered Company. Company Number 9402319
Managing Director: Chris Davies MBA, PGCE, PGCM (Ed), BSc (Hons), FRSA, FCMI, MSET
Director & Company Secretary: Natalie Doughty MSc
Registered Office: The Poplars, Colmworth Rd, Little Staughton, Bedford, MK44 2BY
Work-Link Mentors © CIC is asset locked to the Rotary Club of Kimbolton Castle, a registered charity. No 1081970