Skills Minister backs innovative legal career mentoring programme
07 Jan, 2014
Skills Minister Matthew Hancock has backed an innovative programme to help give young people virtual work experience in the legal sector.
The support for the Financial and Legal Skills Partnership’s (FLSP) Get In Get On programme comes as the organisation expands the scheme to help more young people and calls for more firms to provide mentors.
The one month programme, originally aimed at financial services, has been expanded to the legal services sector. The programme sees professionals from employers, large and small, acting as e-career mentors. The mentors support and motivate students aged 16-19 wanting to get a head start in their chosen field. Mentees also complete online learning units to help better understand the sector and prepare them for entering the workplace.
So far, more than 200 young people have benefitted from mentoring support from organisations such as HSBC, Standard Life, JP Morgan and KPMG since the programme’s launch in summer 2013. More than 60 schools have also received career workshops as part of the scheme.
And now FLSP is expanding the programme into legal services and calling on firms large and small to ‘Make a Difference’ and commit to mentoring young people to help develop tomorrow’s workforce.
The legal programme has already generated interest from international legal firms such as Norton Rose Fulbright, Allen and Overy and Ashurst’s. Each of these firms has agreed to provide at least ten mentors to help young people in state secondary schools and colleges to develop career management skills.
Skills Minister Matthew Hancock said: “I am very happy to support Get In Get On – which connects young people in school with mentors from the world of financial services and accountancy, and now will include those from the legal sector.”
He added: “I welcome the commitment to helping young people make more of the employability and career management opportunities that are available to them. From e-mentoring, speaking in schools, work placements, work experience and apprenticeships, there’s much that can be made from sustained and robust relationships between schools and employers.”
FLSP Acting CEO Sarah Thwaites said: “Alongside professional careers advice, high quality careers information from people in the industry is paramount to help young people understand the career management skills needed within the world of work.
“It’s clear that employers need to forge closer links with schools and colleges, and our Get In Get On programme does exactly that. The new year brings fresh enthusiasm, so I hope firms will commit to investing a relatively small amount of resource and make a big difference.”
Supporting each mentee is entirely virtual, likely to be a small investment of between two to four hours per young person and will help fine tune mentoring skills for use back in the workplace.