This unique resource for the inner north of Melbourne brings together a pool of volunteers with diverse and wide-ranging working lives and lived experience to support young people's (16-25 yrs) transition to further education, training or employment. In the current climate of extreme youth unemployment, an opportunity to directly connect young people with local industry is invaluable.
Vocational mentoring is a key support in career exploration and job-seeking for socially and economically disadvantaged young people. Vocational mentoring can help young people with limited social capital learn about the workplace, clarify their aspirations, extend their networks, and help find work opportunities.
Mentors gain a wealth of experience, skills and confidence from the experience - strengthened leadership, problem-solving, listening and interpersonal skills; wider professional networks; and a fabulous sense of achievement in having helped a young person on their vocational journey.
The Exchange has been developed over two phases in 2020/2021 with the first seeing the implementation of two school-based streams - VME Mentoring Matters and the Youth Enterprise Hub's Micro-Enterprise Project. The second phase in late 2021 activated the Community Partnerships stream, enabling four community partners to access Exchange mentors to support their vocational programs, plus the development of the VME Northern Youth Mentoring Network.
While an initiative of the Inner Northern Youth Employment Taskforce (INYET), the Exchange is being developed in collaboration with a cross-sectoral Steering Committee.
2022 Mentoring Applications Now Open!
The VME will be supporting 20+ in-school/community based mentoring programs across Melbourne’s north in 2022. We welcome applications from enthusiastic and caring volunteers aged 18+ with Australian work experience to join this group of incredibly diverse mentors.
While face-to-face sessions are preferred, virtual sessions will be the COVID back up. Comprehensive free training and ongoing support are provided for these vitally important roles.
APPLY NOW http://bttr.im/w1ib9
New Network for Melbourne’s North – Register now for 20 Oct meeting!
The VME, with support from the Northern Metropolitan Partnership and Community Bank Clifton Hill/North Fitzroy, is excited to announce a new professional network that aims to strengthen and promote youth mentoring across Melbourne’s North.
2022 Mentoring Applications Now Open!
The VME will be supporting 16+ in-school/community based mentoring programs across Melbourne’s north in 2022.
A mix of face-to-face and virtual mentoring options in school or community settings are available, with virtual as the COVID backup.
We welcome applications from enthusiastic and caring volunteers aged 18+ with Australian work experience in trades, professional and/or entrepreneurial roles.
To join this group of incredibly diverse mentors you will also need a current Working With Children’s Check and be up to date with your COVID vaccinations (3 doses).
No need to have mentored before as comprehensive free training, resources and ongoing support will be provided for these vitally important roles.
School-based Vocational Mentoring
A 10 week face-to-face vocational mentoring program that brings volunteers into the VCAL classroom once a week for two hours to work closely with a small group of up to 3 students. Through a range of activities and an excursion into industry, mentors will draw on their own life/work experience in Australia to support the students to complete their Career Action Plan, improve their transferable skills and work readiness
If you can spare 24-29 hours in April - June OR July - September, have a trades or other professional background, we have a range of roles available in Moreland, Darebin and Yarra secondary schools.
Youth Enterprise Hub
School-based Entrepreneurial Mentoring
A face-to-face/online entrepreneurial mentoring program in the second half of 2022 that brings volunteers into the VCAL classroom fortnightly for up to 90mins to work closely with a small group of 3-5 students. Through a range of activities, prototyping and an excursion into industry, mentors will draw on their own entrepreneurial experience to support the students to develop their micro-enterprise projects. Volunteer mentors will work in collaboration with teachers and students in partner secondary schools.
If you can spare 15-24 hours in June/July – October/November and have an entrepreneurial background, we have a range of roles available in Moreland, Darebin and Yarra secondary schools.
Community-based Vocational Mentoring
A face-to-face/hybrid community-based mentoring program. Mentoring sessions will vary in frequency over a period of up to four months. Based in the north of Melbourne and working 1:1 with a young person aged 18-24, mentors will support a young person's successful transition to employment.
If you can spare 18-22 hours in June - November, have a background in Community Development or Event Management/Screen or Media/Digital Marketing/Construction Management/Doctor (GP), we have a range of rewarding roles available in Brunswick, Heidelberg and Preston.
Funding support from the Northern Metropolitan Partnership (Department of Jobs, Precincts and Regions) enabled the Community Partnerships stream to be activated in late 2021.
This stream encompasses partnerships with key community agencies offering vocational programs for young people as well as a new regional network, the Northern Youth Mentoring Network.
Community Agency Partnerships
Partnering with four key community agencies from across the north of Melbourne, 14 fabulous VME mentors supported 16 diverse young people in their transition to employment. Although challenged by virtual mentoring sessions, there were some fabulous outcomes for mentees over the 3 month period.
For 2022, we will consolidate three of these partnerships and offer a range of mentoring opportunities with Bridge Darebin (Preston), Himilo Community Connect (West Heidelberg) and Youthworx (Brunswick).
- VME mentors will support young people aged 18-24 years accessing community agency-based vocational programs.
- Based in the north of Melbourne and working 1:1 with a young person, mentors will support their successful transition to employment.
- The programs will be face-to-face/hybrid and will vary in frequency over a period of up to four months between July and November.
- Mentoring sessions are flexible in nature to best support the goals of the young person.
- Goals may include building specific skills and confidence, preparing for employment, and better understanding a specific industry or role.
Northern Youth Mentoring Network
The Northern Youth Mentoring Network is a partnership between members drawn from employment services providers, community agencies, local government and education providers committed to promoting and strengthening youth mentoring across the north of Melbourne.
The aim is to build and develop a regional Vocational Mentoring Network in the north that will:
- provide a platform to share good practice, potential and opportunity in youth mentoring
- promote the benefits of youth mentoring across the northern region
- promote further development of youth mentoring in the region
- build capability and capacity of people who work in youth mentoring in the region
Membership is free and open to all those working in youth mentoring across the North of Melbourne, or keen to know more about getting started.
Four meetings have been planned for 2022:
- 22 February - Virtual 1 hour
- 7 June – Virtual Professional Development 1.5 hours
- 23 August - Virtual 1 hour
- 22 November - F2F Professional Development 2-2.5 hours
"I found it incredibly helpful to learn from my mentor’s past experience and hear another person's perspective when I came up against problems I didn't know how to approach. Prior to starting the mentor meetings, I was having trouble choosing between two directions within my sector to start a career from. Being able to talk through the pros and cons, as well as receive useful resources/recommendations for info to look into, helped me identify and clarify what I actually wanted to do. It was also very helpful to hear choosing one doesn't rule out the other, which also gave me a lot of confidence going forwards".
Bridge Darebin Mentee 2021
"As a mentor I found the program gave me the opportunity to share my skills and experience whilst also giving me an opportunity to learn from my mentee. It's empowering to know you can be there to enable someone to continue to grow in their chosen career. My experience has been truly rewarding and I have learnt so much about my mentee and myself. Volunteering doesn't mean you know it all or are better than someone, it's about building a connection and being part of the growth journey."
Frances, Salvatore, Himilo Community Connect Mentor 2021
Why Vocational Mentoring?
A Vocational Mentor works with a small group of students to clarify and support their career aspirations.
Vocational mentoring is a key support in career exploration and job seeking for socially and economically disadvantaged young people. Vocational mentoring can help young people with limited social capital learn about the workplace, clarify their aspirations, extend their networks, and help find work opportunities. Read More
The Vocational Mentoring Exchange was conceived in 2014 through the work of the Inner Northern Youth Employment Taskforce (INYET) and Inner North Community Foundation (INCF).
The INCF 2016 Research Report, Inner North Mentoring Exchange: A Regional Mentoring Resource, identified that “available mentoring programs were predominantly of small scale...Read More
For general enquiries about the VME or Mentoring Matters project contact:
To keep up to date with the development of the Vocational Mentoring Exchange, please complete the following: