In February 2013, the CIC North-West Regional Committee, chaired by Aled Williams, in partnership with the Higher Education Academy (HEA) and CITB launched a workplace based mentoring scheme, The Learner Voice, for 2nd year Built Environment undergraduates from a consortium of universities: Liverpool John Moores University, University of Bolton, University of Central Lancashire, University of Salford and the University of Manchester.
The students are matched with construction industry professionals who have successfully built careers in their chosen fields and have at least two years’ experience. The scheme has some 50 employer mentors and 70 students engaged on the programme which launched with an event for the employer mentors at which they were provided with a toolkit and practical skills to help them in their role.
The aims of the project are to help students to link the theory of their university course to real workplace practice and to introduce them to professionals already working in the roles to which they aspire in order to help students make the difficult transition from study to work both easier and more successful. For mentors it may provide an opportunity to reflect on their own work, meet other mentors and gain CPD in mentoring. At the end of the project, in June, there will be a meeting of mentors and organisers to share experiences and consider how the pilot workplace programme might be progressed.