Project stage: Growing and Scaling (www.inspirementoring.ie)
The problem: Young people, typically the first generation to go to college and from socio economically disadvantaged backgrounds, do not have access to professional role models and networks to help them understand a business sector, how it operates and the type of careers they offer.
Target Group: Marginalised young people aged 18-25, HEAR (Higher Education Access Route) students, Further Education students and referrals from partner youth organisations. We are currently working with over 200 young people, 75% of whom are the first generation to go to college and 92% are HEAR Students.
Geographic Area: Nationwide.
Partners: Further Education and Third Level Institutions, LinkedIn Ireland, Youth organisations.
Solution: A formal measured online mentoring programme. Inspire Mentoring is a unique social innovation that grew out of our work with young people in Ballymun and Finglas. Our aim is to connect young people from socio-economically disadvantaged backgrounds with a professional who has volunteered to become a mentor.
Funders: LinkedIn, Rethink Ireland, Irish Youth Foundation, Coca-Cola Community Fund, Solas, Workday.
Changes made: Young people are getting insights into the workplace, career planning, how to target companies and secure internships. They grow their confidence and increase their expectations.
What people said:
“Since starting the mentorship, I feel much more positive about my future opportunities, and have a much clearer career path in mind” Mentee.
“It is so rewarding to see how much my mentee is drawing on my expertise. There is a real sense of satisfaction about being able to help someone younger achieve their ambitions ” Mentor.
Next step: Scaling the programme and securing long-term funding. Our ambition is to continue to scale within Ireland and ultimately the EU. To facilitate this, we aim to secure multi-year public funding to match private funds raised to date. During 2023, we will explore the EU market and identify local partners where we see potential for a pilot INSPIRE programme.