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Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) – Mentoring Circles programme

After successfully delivering Mentoring Circles for Black Asian Minority Ethnic (BAME) jobseekers the Minister for Employment, Alok Sharma MP on the 17th January announced the extension of Mentoring Circles to all young people aged 16-24 in England, Scotland and Wales. The feedback both from employers and mentors from the initial programme was very positive and encouraging. In total DWP delivered 21 mentoring circles, 63 mentoring sessions, 85 employer mentors representing 27 companies and 590 young people start the Mentoring Circles.

The Mentoring Circles provides support to job seekers on how to succeed in life and be better prepared for their careers. The mentors will work alongside other businesses to deliver Mentoring Circles. DWP’s aim is to start delivering the Mentoring Circles programme from April this year in boroughs across England, Scotland and Wales.

The Macclesfield Jobcentre Plus is encouraging local businesses to take part in this scheme.

Mentoring Circles

A Mentoring Circle is a type of action learning set, where mentees bring issues or challenges to the group and work and learn together, take action and reflect on outcomes with a focus on personal development. DWP understands that many young people do not have access to social capital, role models or inspiring employer mentors. This initiative bridges this gap bringing employers and mentees together.

The Mentoring Circle model comprises of three meetings where employers lead the sessions and share insight and information with the mentees. The sessions are two hours long, spread over three weeks so a total commitment from the mentor will be that of 6 hours. The mentors will work with the same group of 8-10 mentees over the three weeks. The first two sessions are delivered in the Jobcentre or a venue sourced by DWP. The third session, where possible, DWP asks the employer to deliver on their premises. All mentors will receive a briefing, a slide deck, an outline of the programme including subjects they may wish to cover with Jobcentre staff available to support throughout the delivery.

What is the benefit for your Business?

Your Company is able to gain valuable insight into the barriers and challenges faced by young people, test out your attraction and recruitment processes and gain insight from job seekers. This is an opportunity to make a difference to young people’s lives and tap into a diverse talented pool of job seekers.

The mentees who participated in the 2018 mentoring circles told DWP:

“Understand more and feel more confident”

“Very inspiring and friendly”

“Very useful discussed interview techniques and application process”

Employers involved in the 2018 mentoring circles told DWP:

Network Rail – “It was an absolute pleasure”

Health Education England: “Absolute pleasure. I got such a lot from it!”

National Grid – “We spent a few moments with mentoring – which will no doubt have a positive lifetime impact on the youngsters”. “It was a great privilege to be involved in such an initiative”

For further information about Mentoring Circles in Macclesfield:

Please call at 0800 169 0190 or get in touch with Damian Capper at Macclesfield JobCentre Plus

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