Peer mentoring is a proven approach to enrich the learning and development process and is a method proven to increase awareness, retention, engagement and satisfaction of both learners and participants alike. This highly valuable development tool offers benefits to all parties involved and is particularly important for apprentices, who are often new to the world of work. By pairing new apprentices with existing apprentices, the BPIF hope that new learners will benefit in the following ways:
- An increased support network
- A relatable source of guidance
- Improved skills and knowledge
- Supported personal and professional development
- A platform to share ideas and experience
- Increased confidence
- Networking opportunities
The BPIF peer mentoring scheme is a one-to-one approach offered on an opt-in basis, meaning it is not a mandatory requirement of an apprenticeship. Existing apprentices may volunteer to become a peer mentor to new apprentices and, where mentoring is desired, the BPIF will match learners based on requirement and experience.
Much like the apprenticeship programmes offered by the BPIF, this scheme will operate by ‘distance mentoring'. This means that mentors and mentees may not necessarily meet in person, but will communicate via a range of platforms including email and phone/video calls.
This will be a rewarding experience for mentors, allowing them to develop their CV and learn from new perspectives within the industry. Similarly, employers will benefit from apprentices with increased confidence that feel supported, leading to improved job satisfaction and a higher chance of retaining the apprentice.
The BPIF will be contacting employers and learners in the following months offering them the chance to opt-in to the scheme.