We work with schools in London and Greater London with a high number of students on Free School Meals, low employer engagement and high ethnic diversity

To promote social mobility

When young people and their parents know what jobs are out there and where the vacancies are they’re more likely to make choices that challenge their assumptions about the right job for "people like me" (Gatsby Foundation).

Our mentors support young people to learn more about the jobs available in the creative industries, and the routes in.

To build social capital

Young people who make 4+ professional connections before leaving school, are 5x more employable and earn up to 18% more (Educational Endowment Foundation).

Our mentors help young people to make at least 4 new professional connections.

To develop soft skills

Research shows value what people can do more than exam results. As the world of work changes, employers seek individuals who can communicate well, adapt and solve problems creatively (NESTA).

We train our mentors to support young people to develop soft skills like confidence, resilience and initiative.

For INTERESTED Students

If you're 16-19 and you're interested in learning more about getting a mentor, you can apply directly. Apply online and we will be in touch with you directly about the next steps >>application form

FOR INTERESTED SCHOOLS

If we don't already work with you and you're interested in learning more, email Freya, our schools coordinator on info@creativementornetwork.org - or >>download our schools pack

FAQ

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What is coaching?

Fundamentally, coaching is about helping an individual to improve their own performance, or helping them to learn. At CMN, we make a distinction between coaching and mentoring. We encourage our mentors to be both, depending on the kind of support needed.

A mentor has a level of maturity around a topic that enables them to offer opinions based on understanding. A coach doesn't necessarily need to anything about the topic they are helping their subject explore. Instead, through listening and asking questions, a coach can help their subject set their own objectives and plan how to meet them.

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How do mentees get on the programme?

We work with schools across London. We run assemblies in which we talk to the students about what the creative industries are and how mentoring works. Schools offer the opportunity out to their students, who then apply directly to us. There are 3 stages to the application - a short written application, a phone interview and an assessment day. We aim to support talented and driven students who stand to gain the most from the process, so we also work on teacher referral.

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Are mentees still at school?

Almost all of our mentees are still at school, studying for their AS or A Levels. CMN mentoring is an extra-curricular commitment for them. This means mentor meeting will be scheduled outside of school hours during term time. Generally speaking, school finishes at 3.30pm so this should mean meetings are best organised in the afternoon during term time.

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What is included in the creative industries?

According to the Department for Culture, Media and Sport, the creative industries are those with a creative output. This includes design and fashion; advertising and marketing; architecture; crafts; film, TV, video, radio and photography; music, performing and visual arts; museums, galleries and libraries; publishing; and IT, software and computer services. We work with mentors across these sectors, also those working in non-creative roles. We also work with creatively minded individuals working outside of the creative industries - those in marketing or business development for non-creative industry businesses, for example.

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I didn't realise there was a cost involved. Can I mentor without doing the course?

Unfortunately not, for two reasons. First of all, our model is designed so that our mentors have a positive and significant impact on the young people we're working with. There is much research, most notably a study by the Sutton Trust, that finds mentors who aren't supported and trained can in some cases be worse than no mentoring at all when working with vulnerable young people. Second, our Mentor Development Programme is designed as a way of incentivising businesses to play an active part in diversifying their workforce and investing in inclusion.

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I'm a freelancer, can I still mentor?

Absolutely! We welcome creatives in all sorts of setups. On each cohort of mentors, we keep a number of supported places at a lower cost for those working on their own. Get in touch to find out more.

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I'm a young person, I'd like a mentor – how do I apply

Send our founder an email at isabel@creativementornetwork.org  We usually work directly with schools so we'll probably need to get your teacher onboard.

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Where will I meet my mentee? Will you be there?

We usually recommend you arrange to meet up with your mentee at your place of work. They'll find it interesting seeing where you work, meeting colleagues and understanding the whole environment. Young people have travel cards and are happy to travel to your area of town, as long as it's not too late in the evening.

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What level of commitment is expected of me as a mentor?

Over the 16 weeks, we run 5 x 2 hour training sessions in the morning, during the week. Outside of these, we recommend you arrange to meet up with your mentee every 2 weeks for up to an hour. You and your mentee will arrange meetings over email so you can fit them in around both of your schedules.