Leonardo da Vinci - Lifelong Learning Programme

Work Mentor

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Work Mentor project

Work Mentor is a project within the Transfer of Innovation (ToI) section of the Leonardo da Vinci programme for Vocational Training. The Leonardo da Vinci programme is a part of the European Commission’s Lifelong Learning Programme.


The project consortium consists of seven partners from seven countries. See table to review the partners and find the Introduction to the Project in different languages.

Partner Language Partner Language
VMA Akureyri Vocational College,
Akureyri, Iceland www.vma.is
Icelandic IFSAT foundation, Netherlands
Gower College Swansea, Wales
na Jules Rieffel, St. Herblain, Nantes, France
Riverside Training, Hereford, England
na Skjetlein Resurssenter, Trondheim, Norway
Axxell Utbildning, Southwestern Finland

Main outcome of Work Mentor

The main outcome of the Work Mentor project will be piloted study materials to use with prospective mentors in workplaces and usable as a discussion platform when placing students in workplaces. The second outcome or product will be teachers in each country who have had training in using the study materials with prospective Work Mentors and have had the opportunity to pilot the materials with a group of mentors in each country.

Introduction to the Work Mentor Project

In Vocational Education Training, the employer’s role is important to the development of learner’s work based competences. Learner success would benefit from a structured approach from the employer as a competent and dedicated mentor. This project will provide a flexible mentoring programme so that employers are better equipped to support learners in the work place.

To achieve this, the following issues have been identified:

  • Employers understanding of their role and contributions to learning are varied and lacking.
  • Contact between College/ Provider and work place varies between countries.
  • Younger learners need support for work based projects and assignments.
  • There is no formal training given to employers to support learning at work.

WORK MENTOR builds on the relationship between learner, teacher and employer by providing an innovative mentoring skills course for work supervisors. The project takes a mentoring project IMPLEMENTOR (www.peermentor.org) and transfers it to the work place

General aim:

To provide work supervisors with greater understanding of vocational learning and mentoring skills to support young people in vocational education and training. This will improve the effectiveness, retention and achievement of on-the-job learning for Apprenticeships and wider placements. The project is broken down into 8 work packages extending over two years.

Work Packages 1 and 2 extend over the life of the project including the functions of project management and quality management lead by VMA, Iceland.

Partner Meeting 1 (October 2011 Gower College, Swansea, Wales):

Launch of the project; confirmation of aims, objectives and work packages; establish working arrangements and protocols. Presentation of IMPLEMENTOR by Gower College Swansea on mentor training and comparison to the employer/ apprentice relationship. The outcome of this meeting will be to agree a questionnaire to use with employers as the Inventory of Needs.

At the end of PM 1, the partners will each carry out an Inventory of Needs (Work Package 3) between 1st November 2011 and 31st January 2012. This will be collated by Riverside Training and a report circulated to the group prior to Partner Meeting 2 to be held in April 2012 in Norway.

Partner Meeting 2 (Work Package 4 – April / May 2012 Trondheim)

The group will devise the Mentor Training Programme using Implementor as a base and adapting it to meet the Inventory of Needs. Development will involve the use of small work groups to refine a series of modules that will constitute the Mentor Training programme. This will be refined throughout the next 3 months using the website for shared communication prior to being delivered in Work Package 5 (Training of Trainers).

Partner Meeting 3 (Work Package 5 – August 2012, Nantes)

Work Package 5 will be delivered in Nantes, France in August 2012 as a three day residential course using the facilities of Jules Reiffel College, Nantes, France. The course will be delivered by Nicolas Bizeul (FR), Philip Broomhead (UK) and Charlie Wannop (NL) to 8 - 12 delegates from 5 countries. At the end of the Training of Trainers, each country will identify which employers they will be working with including: 10 from England; 10 from Wales; 10 from Finland; 10 from France; 10 from Norway; and 10 from Iceland.

Partner Meeting 4 (Work Package 6 – March 2013, Finland)

Pilot arrangements for monitoring and evaluation will be presented at the Training of Trainers. It will be the responsibility of Axell (FI) to coordinate the piloting phase which will continue from 1st September 2012 to 1st March 2013 (Piloting the course materials is Work Package 6) Results of the piloting will be circulated to all partners prior to Partner Meeting 4 in March 2013 to be hosted by Finland.

Partner Meeting 5 (Work Package 7 – Autumn 2013, Akureyri)

Work Package 7 (Revision and completion of course materials) will take place between Partner Meeting 4 in Finland and Partner Meeting 5, autumn 2013 Akureyri Iceland. The results of the piloting being considered and work groups used to amend and refine the Mentor Training programme. Further refinement will take place from March 2013 to July 2013 with the resulting materials being placed upon the website and presented at the final conference to be held in Iceland in September 2013.

Work Package 8 runs throughout the duration of the project. This work involves the dissemination and Exploitation of the project work and the results. Lead by IFSAT (Netherlands) all partners will publish information on their websites, inform their peers in the educational sector and in their own country.

Final products

The final products of the Work Mentor Project will be course materials and trained trainers ready for working with people from workplaces that will Mentor students in the workplace. The course materials will be available in all the languages of the partners, English, Welsh, French, Swedish, Norwegian and Icelandic on the projects website and from the partners themselves.