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Construction firm builds a strong network of mentors

“This programme has given our mentors the skills to be able to pass on their knowledge to a new generation of apprentices.This was the first time we had worked with UDC, and we were thoroughly impressed by their staff. They listened to us and designed a programme to suit our needs."
Martyn Scott, Learning and Development Co-ordinator, The Clancy Group

National construction company, The Clancy Group plc, needed to equip its mentors with the right skills to help recruit and support young apprentices. They approached us for help.

Their brief

The Clancy Group plc recruited young apprentices every year. Each apprentice had a nominated personal mentor to support them while they settled into the company. These mentors also helped recruit the apprentices.

However, many of the mentors had no prior experience of mentoring or interviewing, and so the Clancy Group approached us to help it address this training need.

Whatever solution we devised, it would have to avoid taking the mentors away from their roles regularly, or for long periods of time.

Our solution

We presented 3 different options to Clancy so that it could decide the level of investment it wanted to make.

The company chose an option that gave learners a Level 4 qualification and comprised 3 days of workshops:

  • A 2-day workshop covering the mentoring theory, tools and techniques, including opportunities to try out techniques in practice interviews and observed coaching sessions.
  • A follow-up 1-day workshop for additional guidance and so that people could share and reflect on their experiences so far.

These workshops provided a valuable foundation for people’s learning, however, most of the learning hours were spent practicing new skills in the workplace and undertaking guided independent study using an online learning portal. This approach allowed learners to fit the programme around their work commitments and minimised time away from their jobs.

Although a large proportion of the programme involved working independently, tutors were available throughout for support by email and phone.

The aim of the programme was to provide support for apprentices throughout their journey in the workplace – by enabling mentors to offer information, advice and motivation – and help the organisation provide an environment that gets the most out of these individuals. It covered material such as:

  • becoming a mentor
  • effective communication
  • successful recruitment interviews
  • performance reviews
  • introduction to coaching techniques.

“The whole experience was wonderful. After Day 2 I felt really motivated and started my assignment straight away! The tutors were brilliant and I’ve had excellent support from Leeza, my personal tutor, who always replies to my emails quickly.”
Colin Kite, Contract Training Manager, The Clancy Group