The mentoring project

The Mentoring Project Improves Aspirations for Young People in South Tyneside

Local employers will mentor young people who are involved with the Youth Justice Service (YJS) in an innovative new pilot scheme led by the North East Local Enterprise Partnership (North East LEP).

The Mentoring Project has been launched to help young people in South Tyneside raise their aspirations and build better futures.

The project will match a group of YJS young people with employers to provide opportunities to learn about the type of skills and behaviours valued in the workplace and to introduce them to positive employer role models.

Developed by the North East LEP in partnership with South Tyneside Council’s YJS team and with funding by the Careers and Enterprise Company (CEC), The Mentoring Project, will see local employers work intensively with the young people over a six-week period.

Michelle Rainbow, Skills Director for the North East Local Enterprise Partnership, said:

“It is our aspiration that each and every young person is in a position where they can confidently make informed decisions about their future career pathways.   

“Sometimes young people in the YJS are not part of the traditional education system where they would receive careers advice and guidance. They can therefore struggle to make these informed choices and may not fully understand the employment opportunities available to them.”

The mentoring project
Pictured in image from left to right: Yvonne Haymonds, Kate Hargreaves and Ian Buckingham from Mosaic Partners, Emily Bell from Wates, Gary Coyles and Lynn Greener from South Tyneside Youth Justice Service, Gemma Brotherton, Komatsu and Angela Todd, Goldfinch Estate Agents.

Yvonne Haymonds, Careers Hub Facilitator for the North East Local Enterprise Partnership said:

“The goal of this project is to match a young person with an employer who will act as their mentor. We have some amazing mentors from companies such as Komatsu; Goldfinch Estate Agents; Keepmoat, Wates, and Mosaic Partners, who are prepared to invest their time and resources with a young person to help share knowledge and experiences with them about the world of work.  We truly believe that this pilot could change how the young person views their future and the possibilities ahead of them.” 

Geoff Scott, Social Value Manager at Keepmoat, said:

“It was a pleasure to accept the invitation to join the YJS Mentoring Project Steering Group. I believe employers can play a major role in changing the lives of YJS young people. In my experience young people often thrive on the input of impartial, positive role models and I am looking forward to seeing how the project progresses”.

Beverley Scanlon, Head of Learning and Early Help at South Tyneside Council said:

“The scheme has the potential to bring great benefits to both employers and those being mentored.

“Young people involved in the scheme will have an opportunity to explore the world of work, build confidence and strive towards a more positive future while employers can make a positive contribution to their local community.”

North East LEP and South Tyneside Council have recruited the services of local specialist coaching and mentoring consultancy, Mosaic Partners, to help co-create the support programme. The consultancy team have worked with other public sector bodies and councils, to establish partnerships with commercial organisations and provide mentors to help re-connect young people with the life-changing opportunities of work or a career. 

Ian Buckingham, Mosaic’s Strategic Consultancy Partner said: “Our primary work, as an agency, is within organisations, helping leadership teams, across sectors, become more effective and remain future fit. Mentoring and coaching skills are in high demand as leadership traits and the opportunity for talented people to hone their skills and apply their experience in lending a hand to the community is a very worthy win/win. 

The programme we’ve designed together provides a structured skills development and support journey for mentors. The rare joy of helping to improve the potential outcomes for young people is hugely beneficial for all involved. It can even act as a talent pipeline for enlightened companies. We would love to see more local employers/brands step forward to support Yvonne and her team and get involved as the likes of early local adopters Wates and Komatsu have done”

The Steering group is keen to hear expressions of interest from any employers who would like to become involved in mentoring YJS young people. For more information, please email Yvonne Haymonds, Chair of The Mentoring Project steering group, at

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