Business people and employers are being urged to volunteer to take part in a hugely successful mentoring scheme aimed at helping high school students gain the confidence and employability skills they will need in later life.
North Walsham High School will launch the sixth year of its mentoring scheme in February. Mentors take on between five and 10 Year 9 student mentees, and meet regularly with them over a two-and-a-half year period, to offer support and advice on qualifications, skills needed to progress towards their ambitions, and to help motivate and inspire them.
Students who have taken part in the scheme have spoken about how the experience helped build their confidence and self-esteem, as well as guiding them in their choices for the future. Mentors have also reported that taking part has been a rewarding experience, helping their own personal development, as well as ensuring that tomorrow’s workforce has the skills needed to be useful employees.
“Our mentoring programme is designed to provide role models for our students,” said Kate Lawn, who is co-ordinating the initiative. “We want them to be inspired, motivated, confident, and full of self-belief. We need to develop their ‘soft skills’ to improve their long-term employment prospects. Employers have highlighted that employability skills are lacking in young people, so our aim is to build on these to enable them to progress in the world of work.”
Employers and business people who are interested in taking part are being invited to a business breakfast at the school to find out more. The event takes place on January 22, 7am-8.30am. Those interested in attending can reserve a place by contacting Kate Monday to Wednesday on 01692 402581 or by email on firstname.lastname@example.org. The 2019 scheme will be launched at a “speed networking” event at the school on February 13. Mentors receive training, and are required to complete a DBS check.
One current mentor at NWHS is Gail Adams, owner of Holiday let company, Pack Holidays. She says that being a mentor gives her a lot of inspiration for the future: “It is well worth your time spending a little while with young, developing and curious minds. The students I mentor are a fabulous set of young adults who are mature, kind, intelligent and engaging.”