The CIPD has today relaunched its Steps Ahead Mentoring programme, with a focus on helping young people (aged between 18 and 24) find employment. 

Official figures show that young people have been worst affected by the economic fallout from the pandemic: 480,000 people have dropped off payroll since January 2019, with 16 to 24-year-olds accounting for 60% of this fall. The Resolution Foundation also estimates that youth unemployment will not return to pre-pandemic levels for at least four years. 

The Steps Ahead Mentoring programme aims to help young people find work by matching them with a CIPD member, who will act as a mentor. They will give practical advice on CVs, applications, interviews and job searching. Mentors will also work with mentees to improve their confidence, build professional networks, review their career goals and identify potential sectors to work in. 

Mentees will receive one-to-one remote support of up to 22 weeks, with a minimum of six one-hour sessions. 

Steps Ahead Mentoring was first launched in 2012 and a past survey found that 6 in 10 people who’ve used the programme said it helped them find a job. Previously, the programme was centred on helping carers and parents who’d taken a career break, and they’re being encouraged to continue using the service.  

Jemeela Quraishi, social impact and innovation lead at the CIPD, said:

“A programme like Steps Ahead Mentoring is needed now more than ever and we are delighted to be relaunching it. With research showing that youth unemployment can have a long-term impact on mental health, earnings and career progression, we’re pleased to direct the focus of Steps Ahead where it’s needed most.

"Not only have we had fantastic feedback from former mentees who’ve benefitted from the programme, but we know our mentors get so much out if it as well – be it developing their own coaching skills or helping to change someone’s life. We’d like say a huge thank you to all our members who’ve signed up to be mentors so far and would really encourage others to do the same if they can.”

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