Work shadowing

A great way for our volunteer mentors to provide their mentees with an insight into the world of work. Could you offer a week that could last a lifetime? 

Can you help?

Calling all mentors

Right now, we know opportunities for young people are scarce, opportunities to put employability skills to the test and take that first step on their career journey. 

This year, we are calling upon our mentors to offer just a little more support in these uncertain times. It’s not just one week. For our young people at the start of their career journey, it’s one week that could last a lifetime. 

Can you offer your mentee a week of work shadowing? If so, please read on to find out more and submit an expression of interest.

Offer work shadowing

An insight into the working world is honestly an understatement. My mentor was able to shine a light on career pathways available to me.

Juwon Davies, alumna
Our work shadowing explained

Work shadowing

This year, we are asking our volunteer mentors to extend their support to include one week (or equivalent) of work shadowing, providing a vital insight into the world of work.

The first step is to discuss the opportunity with your mentee and complete our expression of interest form. Then, we’ll be in touch with more resources and guidance to support your offer.

Get involved

Get involved

If, this year, you can extend your support to your mentee to include Work Shadowing, please complete our expression of interest form (below) to get started.

  1. Complete our expression of interest form so we can support you with additional information and resources
  2. Discuss the opportunity with your mentee
  3. Look out for updates from us with next steps
Offer work shadowing


We are introducing work shadowing for students on the Career Ready post-16 programme and asking our cohort of mentors to extend their support to include one full week of shadowing.

Ideally we would like work shadowing opportunities to take place across May or June to potentially help prepare our students for a work placement or internship (as part of our programme in July) or for paid work over the summer holidays.

We understand this will have to be agreed with our partner schools and colleges on a case-by-case basis depending on our students study needs.

We are asking our mentors to offer one full week of work shadowing. This could be one week, full-time – Monday to Friday. It could be one day per week across a month. It could be face-to-face or virtual.

We are keen for the placement to not extend beyond a week to ensure it does not prevent your mentee from potentially accessing paid work during the holidays.

Whatever you are able to offer, we will be developing a series of supporting materials and guidance to help you and your mentee make the most of the opportunity.

Opportunities for young people are scarce but we also recognise that these are challenging times for our volunteers and employers too. Every little helps and we hope that will be something our cohort of mentors can say yes to without too much burden and planning.

We will provide more guidance on what a week of work shadowing could or should look like but we know from experience that many of our mentors go above and beyond to make every opportunity count for their mentee – from introducing them to a colleague in a sector of interest to inviting them to speak at a meeting.

To keep things simple for our students and mentors, you can log your Work Shadowing days in the same way you log your mentoring meetings:

  • Visit the Career Ready website
  • Log in
  • Navigate to the My Activities page
  • Click ‘Record New Activity
  • Set a meeting date
  • Select ‘Work shadowing‘ from the status pick list
  • Click ‘Save

It’s really important that we keep a central record of these additional work shadowing days alongside your mentoring meetings, so that we can monitor and report back to schools.

Our five-day plan

We trust our mentors, having got to know your mentee over the last 2-3 months, to tailor an experience that will match their needs and interests, but here’s a suggested five-day plan to get you started…

Best to deliver a series of shorter and more manageable sessions, especially if you are offering work shadowing remotely over video calls.