Research paper 20: The role of mentoring in supporting Apprenticeships

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The value of mentoring in supporting a high quality Apprenticeship programme is increasingly being recognised for its value in supporting the transition of young people into the workplace and in passing on skills and experience.

Despite the increasing recognition of the value of mentoring there is a lack of clarity over what is meant by mentoring and how it differs from the support typically offered by the apprentice’s line manager, training provider and/or assessor. Indeed mentoring has frequently been compared to other processes including managing, supervising and coaching. 

In the specific context of Apprenticeships, mentoring (as opposed to other support processes) is more heavily focused on supporting individual career development as well as providing trusted support. It can, however, also encompass many of the components of managing, supervising and coaching, for example, by passing on technical expertise and skills. Union reps are ideally placed to mentor and support Apprentices.