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Why it’s important to nurture the next generation of Australians through online mentoring

Why it’s important to nurture the next generation of Australians through online mentoring

Our feature article this week comes from Scott Harris, the Chief Executive of Beacon Foundation. Scott talks about the importance of the MyRoad Mentoring program, one of the initiatives set-up by the Beacon Foundation. Small changes and donations can make great improvements within the community and MyRoad is an amazing example of where choosing coffee with a conscience can help to contribute to an incredible program. 

Why it’s important to nurture the next generation of Australians through online mentoring - Scott Harris Chief Executive Beacon Foundation 

One of the things I love about the MyRoad mentoring program is the way many of the students really seem to grow throughout the sessions in confidence and enthusiasm. It’s so great to see.

It’s great because many of the students exposed to the program really need our help.

MyRoad is a free online mentoring program aimed at young women aged 16-19, who are in Years 10-12. Volunteer mentors from different businesses, occupations and backgrounds engage with young women in conversations about the world of work. 

We target young women in this program because many think they’re at a disadvantage compared with boys when it comes to job opportunities.  In late 2017, Core Data undertook the MyRoad Careers Survey, involving 1000 girls and women aged 15 and above. Five hundred were still in school and 500 were no longer in school. Nearly one quarter of the students believed boys at their school would have more career opportunities than girls after leaving school. Of the non-students who said they had a mentor or role model, the overwhelming majority believed that those people were important in influencing their career path, or helped them take steps towards their desired career after leaving school. Of the non-students without a mentor or role model, 74% said they wished they had someone they looked up to.

We also know that for many schools, they want to do this work, they recognise the importance of careers education but they don’t always have the mechanism or the resourcing to be able to source their won industry mentors – and so Beacon Foundation is that conduit for many to see industry and schools really thriving together.

And what does all this achieve?

Evidence shows that partnership activities like this “provide rich real world opportunities that spark students’ curiosity and open students to a range of new and emerging professions.”[1]

It’s another example of Beacon’s innovative, proactive nature in trying to deal with what is one of the country’s biggest issues in youth unemployment.

We want more young Australians to experience Beacon Foundation’s work. We’re aiming to have 2000 young women exposed to MyRoad this year. To do this, we need more people like you to become volunteer mentors. As one said after her session recently, “supporting students to transition to the workplace and be work ready is such a rewarding experience. To inspire the future workforce through collaborative education and improve outcomes for young people across Australia is something we can all contribute to.”

[1] Torri, K. (2018). ‘Connecting the worlds of learning and work’, Australia, Mitchell Institute at Victoria University


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