Preparing to mentor

For over 17 years we’ve connected young people from disadvantaged backgrounds with inspiring mentors, helping them to kickstart the successful and rewarding careers their talent deserves. 

We have seen the difference a successful mentoring relationship can make to the life of a young person and we are very grateful to you for volunteering your time and sharing your workplace knowledge. This page will help you prepare for starting your mentoring experience and answer any questions you may have.

How it works 

What's involved 

You’ll meet with a young person aged 14-18 on a monthly basis, at your workplace or their school/college. Meetings last approximately an hour.

Together, you’ll speak about their different career options & pathways, helping them to understand more about the world of work and the skills they'll need to kickstart a rewarding future. 

We have two mentoring options available:

• Sep-July with Year 10 students (aged 14/15)* 
• Jan-Dec with Year 12/13 students (aged 16-18)

*Only available in Essex, Suffolk, and the Black Country.

We have a range of support and guidance documents, available further down this page, to make your volunteering experience straightforward. 

You will be informed if you have been successfully matched to a young person or not in September if you are volunteering for our Y10 programme and in December - January for our Y12/13 programme.

Recruitment & selection

All our volunteers must register via our online application form and complete an enhanced DBS check.

If you're an employer and would like to promote our mentoring opportunities within your organisation then we have put together an Employer Volunteer Recruitment Pack to support you in this. 

On completion of the volunteer registration form and DBS process, we start allocating mentors to schools & colleges from November onwards.

It should be noted that we are at times unable to place every registered and DBS- cleared volunteer due to programme capacity. We appreciate how disappointing this can be so we try our best to ensure that this doesn't happen and instead place volunteers, if they so wish, on our masterclass activities. 


Timeline & key dates for our Y12/13 programme




 Applications for new mentors open

31 October 

Deadline for new volunteer registrations

October - December 

Mentors matched to schools/colleges

Mentor briefing sessions 


Mentors matched to students 

Icebreaker sessions delivered in schools & colleges

February - December 

Mentoring meetings take place once a month


Mentoring programme finishes




Keeping you informed 

We aim to keep all volunteers and employers up-to-date and engaged throughout our mentoring programme. This includes: 

  • Automated emails to complete the registration and DBS process, including confirmation emails
  • A welcome message for each volunteer from their local Regional Manager, sharing further information about the next stages and information on our student matching process
  • A monthly bulletin to each mentor with updates, tips and best practice, and surveys on how their mentee is progressing
  • A mentor progress report for employers who provide several mentors 

3 ways to prepare for being a mentor

  1. Make sure that your DBS is complete

The safeguarding of young people is our utmost priority. All volunteers who register to become a mentor must complete an enhanced criminal records check (DBS) before they start the programme. We also ask all our volunteers to read our Safeguarding Policy.

It is your responsibility to ensure this is completed as quickly as possible – mentoring is a popular volunteering role and we will prioritise matching volunteers who are cleared. You may be invited to your first mentoring icebreaker meeting before your DBS clearance has been completed but you must ensure your cleared is completed for your mentoring relationship to continue.

For further information about the DBS process then please check out the GBG website (our DBS provider) or, for specific questions and support regarding your application, get in touch with our Volunteer Operations Manager.

If you ever have any concerns regarding a safeguarding issue then please contact our Safeguarding Officer, in line with our Safeguarding Policy.

  1. Attend one of our briefing sessions

We ask that all new mentors attend one of our telephone briefing sessions ahead of starting the programme. These sessions, delivered via telephone conferencing, ensure that we are able to share practical and best practice information with you and answer any questions which volunteer(s) may have.

Briefing sessions for our Y12 programme run through October – January. 

Book your place 

If you are unable to attend one of our briefing sessions or would like to revisit the information then you can download our PowerPoint presentations at the bottom of the page. 

  1. FAQS

    If you have any questions about mentoring or the DBS process, check out our FAQs (below) or contact our Volunteer Operations Manager


    In addition to the support offered by our regional team, we have also created a library of resources offering more information, guidance and support with mentoring. 

Employer Volunteer Recruitment Pack

Thank you for working in partnership with us to help change the lives of young people.

Mentor application process flowchart

A flowchart which explains the process that mentors go through when they register to be a Career Ready mentor, and the steps the need to take to complete their application and go through the DBS process.

Volunteer Policy

This policy is a framework for our volunteer programme. It covers the support provided to the volunteers during their involvement with Career Ready and information regarding safeguarding.

Safeguarding Policy

Due to the nature of Career Ready’s work and our interaction with young people, it is important that we have a safeguarding and child protection policy specific to the type of work we do, in order to ensure the best possible protection of young people. 

Teleconference mentor briefing slides - England, Wales and Northern Ireland

Powerpoint briefing slides for mentors in England, Wales and Northern Ireland who are either dialling into a teleconference mentor briefing session or are unable to attend a briefing.

Year 10 mentoring programme - mentor briefing (phone)

A PowerPoint presentation and Session Leader Guide to brief mentors who are taking part in the Year 10 mentoring programme and help them to understand all the elements involved.

Mentoring FAQs

Frequently asked questions regarding our mentoring programme. 

DBS process FAQs for core programme mentors

Frequently asked questions about the DBS process for mentors across the UK who are working with young people aged 16 - 19.