What is mentoring?

What is mentoring?

Mentoring connects an individual who has a lot of knowledge and experience with someone who hasn’t gained the same knowledge or experience.

By having someone who can share their advice, offer guidance and be a sounding board for the mentee’s thoughts, the person stands to benefit from experience beyond their own.

Mentoring supports and encourages people so they can maximise their potential, develop their skills, improve their performance and become the person they want to be.

And when it comes to young people, it’s particularly important as they find their own path through life that they have someone to rely on.

Our role

DYW Moray work with businesses in the region to help provide young people with more opportunities to develop their employability skills, which is exactly where mentoring comes in.

We encourage employers to take part in activities that interact with young people. And through that, they can develop a future pipeline of skills and experience.

And while developing the future workforce, it can develop the skills of the existing team at the same time.

In Moray, there are two main organisations that facilitate mentoring relationships with young people – Mentoring Young Talent and Career Ready.

Mentoring Young Talent

Mentoring Young Talent is a volunteering programme set up by Moray Council in 2019 to support young people between the ages of 12 and 26 years old.

The programme started as a pilot scheme in Buckie High and Elgin High, and has since expanded across all eight high schools in Moray.

The project for the younger age group (12-16yrs) provides mentors to care-experienced school attendees. Their project for 16-26-year-olds aims to support young people locally who may be unemployed, struggling to identify their next steps, need to strengthen their skills and gain from the interaction with a positive role model.

They provide training and supervision, including tailoring opportunities to enhance your knowledge of issues that affect young people locally.

Michaella Henderson, Project Officer for Mentoring Young Talent, explained: “Mentoring Young Talent has two routes for young people - school based and school leavers.

“Our employability key workers work across both routes ensuring that the focus remains on the young person.

“All S1–S6 school pupils will have a key worker who will meet them weekly until they are matched with a mentor. Any school leavers from S4 onwards will also meet with the same key worker, who can support them through the transition from school to college, work-based apprenticeships or an alternative pathway - depending on what best suits the individual.

“They will also be matched with a mentor.

“Mentors need to be able to commit to providing at least an hour of support a week for a 12-month period.

“Each young person will be matched with an individual mentor who will be an impartial adult to talk to and build a positive relationship with.

“In previous programmes, the young mentees have seen their confidence and self-esteem increase with are personal and professional benefits for the mentor too.”

Career Ready

Career Ready is a two-year programme that aims to empower young people in S5/S6 to kick-start their chosen career through a series of authentic workplace experiences and a network of support.

With a mentor from the world of work, a four-week paid internship with their mentor’s organisation, and a series of skills masterclasses combined with workplace visits, their aim is that young people leave school more confident, knowledgeable and ready to follow their identified career path.

Career Ready was founded in 2002 by leading business figures with a mission: to boost social mobility by empowering young people and giving their talents a platform to flourish.

Since then they’ve grown across the UK, and connected 150,000 young people with employers and volunteers from the world of work. And they also have some impressive statistics on the difference that their initiative makes to young people.

  • 87% of alumni said Career Ready had a positive impact on their life
  • 91% of students said Career Ready raised their aspirations
  • 95% of 2020 graduates would recommend Career Ready to other students


Both mentoring programmes seek to unlock the potential in young people and make a positive impact on post-school destinations.

Mentoring Young Talent is a regional programme where mentors work with care-experienced young people and others who have faced challenges.

Mentors are matched with a young person and provide one-to-one time to boost confidence, offer new experiences, gain skills and qualifications.

Everyone is welcome to apply to be a mentor, and they provide training, support and fund some great activities to take part in alongside the matched young person.

They are looking for volunteers with a range of life experiences and backgrounds who can spend one to two hours a week listening and being there for a young person, it’s a positive way to support local young people and share knowledge and experience.

Career Ready is a UK-wide, structured two-year programme, and part of the deal is offering a four-week paid internship.

Their aim is to have young people leaving school more confident, knowledgeable, and ready to follow their identified career path.

Whichever organisation you choose you engage with, you know it can build a positive relationship with so many benefits on both sides.

In CareerReady’s Power of Volunteering report released last year, more than two-thirds of mentors cited an increase in their knowledge or skills, with 91% improving their coaching skills.

And when it came to care-experienced young people, a ScotCen Research Study carried out in 2020 showed that prior to the introduction of mentoring, 59.8% progressed to full-time employment, college or university. This rose to 81.6% of when mentoring was introduced into the equation.

If you would like to discover why you should consider becoming a mentor, check out our 'Five reasons to become a mentor' article. If you would like to find out more about mentoring in Moray, get in touch with DYW Moray at info@dywmoray.co.uk today!

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