Effective mentoring programmes: Collaboration between businesses and the youth

Research shows that youth with mentors are more likely to be successful in school, leaders in their communities, and to enter adulthood with opportunities for on-going education and career choices. Yet one in three American youth go through adolescents without a mentor of any kind. A new report examines the role of businesses in addressing this mentoring gap and provides effective practices for businesses.

The report offers these five best practices for businesses:

  1. Align mentoring engagements with corporate strengths
  2. Establish strong relationships with non-profit experts and educational systems
  3. Flexibility is key to encourage, facilitate and support participation (clearly illustrate which mentoring options are available to employees)
  4. Facilitate increased peer learning and idea sharing among service providers and private sector actors
  5. Invest in proven evidence-based programming

This report concludes that US businesses are in a position to open the door and provide some unique opportunities to young people. This is particularly due to the mentors who are employees in the private sector and can therefore provide unique and specialised job-related mentoring that generic/volunteer-based mentoring programmes cannot so easily provide. Additionally, businesses are in a good position to close the mentoring gap because they have the resources and funding to set up mentoring programmes.