The policy column

Tamsin Russell, Issue 118/04, p17, 01.04.2018
Mentoring for all
The Character Matters Report highlighted the need to look beyond skills development and focus on other competencies, such as risk orientation, self-confidence and resilience. These “personal qualities” were seen as being best explored and developed through mentoring.

Mentoring for All, a pilot project funded by Arts Council England and led by the Museums Association, aimed to address this by developing a new approach to mentoring – one that was not aligned to a particular professional development programme nor associated with a particular position in a hierarchy for example. The pilot was open to anyone within the sector regardless of employment status – volunteers and freelancers could apply. The huge response showed an appetite and gap in the sector.

The pilot has been a success, with a significant majority of mentees experiencing positive shifts in these “personal qualities”, achieving or partially achieving their development goals and a number securing either paid employment or new jobs within the sector.

The pilot has enabled us to test and refine the programme and our learning will be shared at the Museums & Heritage Show in May. A report will be published shortly afterwards – we want organisations to use it to improve their existing programmes and integrate into future programmes.
Mentoring is a priority in our new Workforce Strategy and we will look for opportunities to build on this success to support the sector.