Starting strongly: mentoring for apprentices

UNISON and the TUC believe that all apprentices should have a mentor: to help them acclimatise to the workplace, to support them as they think about career options and progress, and pass on their skills and knowledge. And this has been shown to improve apprenticeship completion rates.

It’s even better when that’s linked to support from the apprentice’s UNISON branch. Apprentices can join UNISON for a reduced rate of £10 per year, and offering them support through a mentoring scheme can get them involved in the union from the very beginning of their career.

UNISON Learning and Organising Services have developed a course for branches and reps who would like to support apprentices through a mentoring scheme.

The course covers:

  • Introduction to apprenticeships
  • Supporting apprentices – the purpose of a mentor
  • Key skills of a mentor – listening, questioning, signposting
  • Developing practical mentoring skills
  • Dealing with issues and further support

And apprentices can take part in the course themselves as they approach the end of their apprenticeships, allowing them to pass on the benefits of their experience.

To find out whether the mentoring training is running near you, contact your regional education team.

In the meantime, why not take a look at the TUC’s e-note on mentoring? This short online module gives an outline of:

  • why young people need additional support and mentoring in the workplace
  • what mentoring is
  • the benefits of mentoring
  • next steps for reps to take if they want to become a mentor

You’ll need to create an account at the TUC education site if you haven’t used it before.


Photo © Jess Hurd, Report Digital