Carolyn Mason, ECA Head of Education and Training, discusses the ‘Mentor Me’ initiative, which offers young people careers advice and guidance from all corners of the electrotechnical industry.
What has been the most useful careers advice you’ve ever received? Was it during your school years, at college, or from someone already working in the industry?
Whilst careers advisers will do their best with the resources they have, it cannot replace the wisdom of someone who has worked in a particular industry and can give a personal account of their experiences.
Now more than ever we must support the next generation and give sound advice to those who need it. Over the last 18 months, young people at career crossroads in their lives have had to make important decisions without the support, guidance and resources they may have received previously.
That’s why The Electrotechnical Skills Partnership (TESP) is asking people from all corners of the electrotechnical industry to donate just 45 minutes of their time to mentor a young person under The Youth Group’s ‘Mentor Me’ initiative.
To date, over 1.7 million young people have been supported by The Youth Group, providing them with mentoring, advice and careers guidance. The fact that these are online mentoring sessions is an added benefit, as it removes the time and travel barriers normally associated with traditional careers events.
You don’t have to currently be working as an electrician. Whether your active involvement in electrical contracting is current or historic, all those with experience can make a valuable contribution. The minimum commitment is to support just one 45 minute online mentoring session with a young person.
From a low carbon perspective, we were also pleased to hear that for each mentoring session carried out via The Youth Group, a tree will be planted in one of the National Parks across the UK as part of the ‘Net Zero with Nature’ programme.
If as a mentor you choose to continue, you can speak to a variety of different job seekers and share your experiences and insights, or work with one individual and support them on their journey to develop and get a job.
Why not look within your organisation to see who might volunteer – from owner to apprentice, electrician to designer – anyone with industry experience could make a real difference in supporting a young person.
Here at the ECA we’ll also be encouraging our staff to get involved. Now is our chance to build a network of electrotechnical mentors to inform and inspire young people and show them the opportunities this industry holds.