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Mentoring boosts employability at Birmingham City University

Birmingham City University (BCU) Careers Service has developed two high-quality mentoring programmes to give students a real-life insight into the world of work and enhance their employability. The programmes were shortlisted for both the 2011 Times Higher Education Awards and the AGCAS Awards for Excellence.

Lucy Madahar, Assistant Director of Student Services (Advice and Guidance), explains:

"Boosting the employability of students is a top priority for BCU. One way to give students a real-life insight into the world of work is through our range of mentoring opportunities, which have been growing year on year.

Relationship building

Inspiring Futures has created over 200 business mentoring relationships over the past five years. Mentees (final year students) benefit from a greater understanding of their chosen industry, and enjoy improved job application techniques. 75% of mentees reported that mentoring improved their student experience, with 20% of mentees stating that, as a direct result of mentoring, they have secured paid employment. Mentors (business professionals) benefit from accessing a quality source of potential recruits, as well as contributing to the city's social responsibility aims. The quality of the scheme has now been officially recognised with accreditation from the Mentoring and Befriending Foundation, an organisation that works to improve the effectiveness and quality of mentoring programmes across the UK.

Online delivery

In order to enable our diverse university community of over 25,000 students to have access to mentoring, we also offer online mentoring via our innovative Ask@BCU e-mentoring programme, the only one of its type across the HE sector. Peer online mentoring offers new students support from experienced peers to address concerns surrounding university life, also developing the competencies of our current student mentors. Employer online mentoring offers penultimate and final year students access to BCU alumni. Mentors prepare students for the world of work, which simultaneously provides a staff development opportunity for alumni seeking their first supervisory role."

For further information, contact Sharon Farrow, Mentoring Programme Co-ordinator at Birmingham City University (0121 331 7245).

Tags: mentoring Birmingham University Sector million+

Created on: 24 January 2012

Last updated: 03 February 2012

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