Developing mentoring skills within the workforce can unlock business potential, according to the sector skills council for the financial and legal services sectors.

The Financial and Legal Skills Partnership (FLSP) has evidence to back up a recent Department for Business Innovation and Skills (DBIS) report which found almost nine out of ten businesses involved in mentoring schemes said it helps firms to succeed. What’s more, almost half saw turnover increase.

These figures are supported through the evaluation of FLSP’s Get In Get On (GIGO) initiative, which matches mentors with young people to help develop a talent pipeline for the finance and legal sectors.

Mentoring Key To Unlocking Business Success
Mentoring Key To Unlocking Business Success

The one month programme sees professionals from a wide range of organisations acting as online mentors. The mentor supports and motivates students aged 16-19 wanting to get a head start in their chosen field. Mentees also complete online learning units to help better understand either the financial or legal services sector and prepare them for entering the workplace.

The organisation’s own figures show 96% of mentors would recommend mentoring to others while 89% of participating mentors say mentoring has positively changed their lives.

Amanda Ryalls, Business Development Director at FLSP, said: “Mentoring skills are a real asset to a business. The government’s research coupled with our feedback shows that businesses which use mentoring can significantly increase their productivity.

“Our initiative offers companies the opportunity to get involved and start enjoying the business returns. Our GIGO programme includes online training for mentors and a matching service with young people from local schools.  Once trained, the mentoring takes up just four hours over a one-month period – the equivalent of just 12 minutes per day.  Aside from improving business performance, helping local young people in this way is a great way for companies to improve their public image and discharge their corporate and social responsibility.

The GIGO programme has received co-investment from the UK Commission for Employment and Skills through the Growth and Innovation Fund.

Feedback from young participants has been outstanding. So far, more than 200 young people have benefitted from mentoring from organisations such as HSBC, Standard Life, JP Morgan and KPMG since the programme’s launch in summer 2013.

Some 99% of students stated they would recommend online mentoring to a friend, while 89% said it had made a positive difference to their lives and 74% said the programme had significantly improved their understanding of their chosen sector.

FLSP has a waiting list of young people keen to receive mentoring and is offering free training for mentors for a limited time. Places will be awarded on a first come, first served basis.

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