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Pass on your work and life skills to school students in Manchester

05 Nov 2013

Register now for information sessions about the Wise Up! school mentoring programme on 11 and 13 November.

Cedar Mount Academy

In recent years, the University has developed a relationship with Cedar Mount Academy in West Gorton. Staff volunteers from a diverse range of University job roles have worked with the Directorate of HR to help provide the school’s students with experience of work.

Cedar Mount Academy

Cedar Mount Academy serves Gorton and the adjacent communities and is part of Gorton Education Village. It is committed to providing a world-class education to enable every young person to realise their full potential, with the ultimate aim of becoming one of the very best schools in Manchester.

As youth unemployment continues to grow, the University and the school have developed a mentoring scheme which will give University staff the opportunity to actively support local young people as they begin to think about their futures.

The 2014 programme

The Wise Up! programme, which will run from January to April 2014, builds upon the experiences of the earlier schemes and supports Goal 3 of the Manchester 2020 agenda and the wider strategy of contributing to a reduction in unemployment in the University’s neighbouring communities.

The programme is aimed specifically at students who are unlikely to continue into further and higher education, and will be delivered in small groups and one-to-one sessions.

Volunteers help the young people to develop practical skills which will assist them as they enter the world of work, improve their confidence through engaging with adults in a workplace setting and expose them to new experiences and people they might not otherwise encounter.

In addition to mentoring and group work, the young people will participate in a work experience programme which will give them an insight into how the University operates alongside general experience of the world of work. Work experience will be offered across the University.

The University has recently introduced an Apprenticeship and Skills Academy programme and, moving forward, there will be a close link between apprenticeships and Wise Up!

Who can apply to be a mentor?

Volunteers are sought from all grades, job roles, and backgrounds to contribute to this initiative.

The only condition is that you must have been employed by the University for a minimum of two years.

We are particularly keen to hear from colleagues who work in the Directorate of Estates and Facilities (including hospitality areas). 

What does a mentor do?

Wise Up! presents a great opportunity to share your work and life experience with young people who have access to limited resources and may come from backgrounds which present few positive role models.

A mentor is required to give two to three hours a week to helping Year 10 and 11 students prepare for the world of work.

As part of the process, mentors will be asked to form teams and actively contribute through the preparation and delivery of sessions on topics such as:

  • Developing a CV
  • Interview skills
  • Preparing for the first day of work

These sessions will consist of interactive sessions lasting approximately 20 minutes per team, followed by one-to-one mentoring time - with plenty of support on hand for mentors.

Each mentoring session will take place during working hours on campus and  training will be provided.

Further information

Information sessions will be held on 11 and 13 November, with informal interviews taking place 27 and 28 November.

If you’d like to register for one of the information sessions or simply find out more about becoming a mentor for this scheme, please contact one of the following colleagues: