VME recruits, trains and supports vocational mentors from all walks of life to assist young people from the inner north of Melbourne in their career transition journey.
The INCF 2016 Research Report, Inner North Mentoring Exchange: A Regional Mentoring Resource, identified that "available mentoring programs were predominantly of small scale, had a tenuous funding base, lacked scale to make a significant impact, and were often gone within a few years after commencing." A more recent (2019) scan of vocational mentoring programs currently being used by schools across the inner north confirmed these findings.
With support from the Workforce Innovation Fund, the concept of a Vocational Mentoring Exchange was successfully piloted in 2017 by the INLLEN in partnership with Marist 180. A dozen secondary students from two local schools were matched with mentors in a structured six-week program that included mentoring, industry visits and guest speakers. The successful outcomes of this demonstration project were documented in the 2017 Proof of Concept Pilot Report.
In 2019, the INLLEN and EdConnect Australia committed to working in partnership to implement the Mentoring Matters project and secured additional funding support from The Ian Potter Foundation, Bob Eatt Foundation and Inner Northern Community Foundation for 2020 - 2022. A Steering Committee comprised of partner schools and representatives from key local organisations will continue to guide the development, implementation and evaluation of the project.
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