Mentoring Works matches business volunteers to students in London secondary schools and sixth forms for a 10-month period. The programme offers businesses the opportunity to have a long-standing relationship with their partner school and to impact the lives of local students.

Mentors and students develop a supportive relationship in which young people are encouraged to expand their visions of what they want to achieve in life and acquire the professional and interpersonal skills needed to be successful in their chosen career paths.

The Need

Islington has the third highest rate of child poverty in London and has been rated high on the national index of multiple deprivation. Mentoring addresses social capital gap and offers a vital employability focus that supports young people to acquire the knowledge and skills necessary to succeed in the jobs market, and enable them to compete with other young people in London from more privileged backgrounds. By connecting students to business mentors, they gain an insight into the working world. Despite most students living in close proximity to the City of London, being part of the mentoring scheme and visiting their mentor’s workplace means that they often visit the City for the first time during the programme.

Strategic aims

The aims of the Mentoring Works programme are to:

  • Introduce young people to the world of work
  • Raise aspirations
  • Enable students to identify career goals
  • Increase employability through the development of seven key competencies

The seven competencies

The Mentoring Works programme is underpinned by a framework of seven core employability competencies. The framework is the result of extensive secondary research into competencies sought by employers along with qualitative feedback from previous participants on the impact of their mentoring experience.

Mentoring Works competencies

Mentoring Works is accredited with the Approved Provider Standard (APS) by The Mentoring and Befriending Foundation. The APS is the national quality standard designed specifically for all types of mentoring and befriending projects This scheme is in line with London Ambition and the government’s Careers Strategy and Statutory Guidance.

Our Mentoring Works programme currently runs in every secondary school in Islington and in a number of sixth forms. We facilitate the following partnerships:

Secondary school partners

  • Arts and Media School Islington
  • Beacon High 
  • Central Foundation Boys' School
  • City of London Academy Highbury Grove  
  • City of London Academy Highgate Hill
  • City of London Academy Islington
  • Elizabeth Garrett Anderson School 
  • Highbury Fields School 
  • St Aloysius' College
  • St Mary Magdalene School
  • William Ellis School

Sixth Form partners

  • City and Islington College, Centre for Business, Arts and Technology
  • City and Islington Sixth Form College
  • City of London Academy Islington 
  • Maria Fidelis Roman Catholic Convent School 
  • Regent High School 

Company partners

  • Euromonitor International
  • Expedia Group
  • Macquarie Group
  • MUFG