We recruit volunteer mentors of professional backgrounds to support marginalised young people maximise their potential, by providing support with education and employment pathways.
- Do you want to change a marginalised young person’s life?
- Are you interested in supporting people of migrant or refugee background?
- Are you fortunate enough to have a job?
A few hours a fortnight of your time can help someone less fortunate.
Most of us want someone to look at our resume, or to talk to before a job interview. If you arrived here as a refugee with no English, or if you are a young person who hasn’t experienced life outside your own suburb… that kind of support is invaluable.
We are currently seeking multiple new mentors, which means a range of applicants will be successful.
WHAT IS THE MENTOR PROGRAM?
The goal of the mentoring program is to support a diverse group of young people who are experiencing some form of marginalisation or disadvantage when finding employment. We work with:
- Young people of migrant and refugee backgrounds
- Young people who have left school early
- Young people from families that have experienced intergenerational poverty
- Young people with disabilities, and
- Many other young people who are presented with barriers.
Barriers to finding employment can be many and varied.
HOW DOES IT WORK?
As a mentor you will be mainly working one-on-one with an individual to overcome barriers to employment and/or education.
You will work with the mentee (young person) on self-guided activities that involve education and employment pathways. Activities are based around the mentee’s career interests, but can extend to a range of support strategies aimed at keeping ‘at risk’ young people connected to the system.
Mentors might use their time to practice English required for work, develop resumes, research where jobs are or practice interview questions. Activities may include excursions to industry, educational providers and tertiary institutions. Each situation will be different depending on whom you are working with.
WHAT SKILLS/ QUALIFICATION DO YOU NEED TO BE A MENTOR?
We’re looking for mentors who are non-judgmental, show unconditional positive regard and can serve as a strong role model to influence a young person’s life.
Our Mentors need to:
- Commit to meet with a young person approx. two hours per fortnight for a minimum of nine months
- Be someone who can provide time during the day, early after hours or on weekends
- Be of professional background – currently employed, retired from full-time or part-time work, business people or someone who has great industry contacts
- Be willing to share their life skills
- Keen to discover new skills
- Be good listeners
- Genuinely like young people
As a mentor working with young people you must undergo a ‘Criminal History Check’ and must obtain a ‘Working with Children Check’. Working with Children Checks are free for volunteers and can be applied for at http://www.workingwithchildren.vic.gov.au
Volunteering is extremely satisfying, personally as well as professionally. The skills gained through volunteering are diverse and relevant to many fields of work. Mentors are able to make a difference in a marginalised young person’s life, whilst gaining skills in:
- Problem solving
- Interpersonal skills
- Negotiation skills
- Creative thinking skills
- Case management
- Team work
- Methodical and systematic thinking
Mentors are provided with free training and volunteer support for the length of the program they are involved in. The training covers areas such as:
- Barriers faced by young and/or marginalised people
- The role of the mentor
- Qualities and skills required of a mentor
- Communication and problem solving skills
- Setting and maintaining boundaries
- Accepting and working with culturally and linguistically diverse people
WHAT DO I DO NOW?
If you wish to become a mentor, complete the Expression of Interest Form and send it, along with your current resume to Laura Buerkner.
If you would like more information or wish to discuss this volunteer position with someone, please contact:
Mentor Program Coordinator
P: 03 9376 7251
M: 0481 504 777
The Youth Internship Initiative is supported by the Victorian Government.