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How we work with businesses

Our mentoring programmes help young people understand the workplace and different routes into it. So far we’ve developed programmes in the healthcare, law and engineering sectors to have a positive impact on young people and to create valuable and rewarding volunteering experiences for employees.

Our mentoring programmes

Working with leading employers, we develop programmes for young people with an interest in a particular sector to understand it better. With their mentor, they discuss:

  • routes into the sector
  • roles within it
  • workplace culture and professionalism
  • career progression
  • skills required 

“[The sector insight programme was] a way to experience different types of journalism and really be inspired by your mentor”

– Mentee

Adding online mentoring to pre-existing programmes, such as work experience placements or in-school interventions, can build on the great work you’re already doing, giving time and space for young people to reflect on what they’ve learned with an inspiring mentor.

Our eight-week programme is co-designed with businesses and combines an intensive virtual work placement week ‘visiting’ different departments and undertaking tasks and activities, with seven weeks of 1:1 online mentoring with inspiring employees from the business

  • Helps young people with employability skills
  • Improves social capital for students facing barriers
  • Highlights workplace culture and professionalism
  • Supports career progression
  • Offers an insight into a specific industry or business

We develop programmes that work for volunteers as well as mentees. Mentoring with Brightside is a hugely rewarding opportunity that allows mentors give the benefit of their experience to the young people who need it most. It’s also flexible and fits in easily with other work and life commitments.

A&O Shearman

For over a decade, we have supported A&O Shearman with the Smarter Futures programme, which follows on from their Smart Start work experience week, and matches Year 13 students with A&O Shearman employees who act as mentors for the following academic year. 

The programme aims to develop mentees’ understanding of their post-18 options, increase their knowledge of careers within law, and develop their business skills such as networking, team work and communication. 

In 2022/23*:


messages were sent by mentees on average

0 %

of mentees increased their knowledge of what it’s like to work in law

0 %

of mentees either agreed or strongly agreed that conversations with their mentors helped them think about the future

*this data is based on mentees who completed both the baseline and exit survey

My mentor inspired me and made me realise that I wasn’t just interested in the academic aspect of law but also a career as a lawyer is now my goal. She helped me through interviews, and gave me advice on going to uni based on her own personal experience which was great.

Year 13 mentee

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