In today’s world, we see increased use of continuously developing communication technologies, writes Chris Davies.
The current generation of 16 to 24-year-olds are technically savvy but face an ever-expanding diversity of potential job roles, and they often struggle to gain an understanding of, and experience in, their chosen field of work.
A young person who is able to draw on the experience of someone who has experience or knowledge of that young person’s chosen field has a significant advantage. Fortunately, there are increasing numbers of older people who have tremendous experience of the world of work and also a working knowledge of communication technologies.
Computer mediated communications (CMC) such as email, Skype and texting offer a flexible, geographically unrestrained and cost-effective method of putting potential e-mentors or ‘vocational grandparents’ in touch with 16 to 24-year-olds to support them in their early careers.
In addition to vocational guidance, one-on-one pairings using CMC can also improve motivation, focus and direction for young people. Typically, an e-mentor will provide assistance on one or more of the following: information on potential career routes, work placements, internships, CV, and interview and personal statement preparation.
They can undertake mock Skype interviews and provide references. The pairing typically lasts for six months. The ultimate goal is that all 16 to 24-year-olds have support from an e-mentor or vocational grandparent.
Chris Davies is a further education consultant, a Member of SET and founder of Work-Link Mentors.