13 – 14 June 2017
UNISON Regional Chelmsford Office
This course is designed to be used as part of branch development or as part of regional strategy to develop mentoring schemes in branches. Optional programme 1 on the next page suggests the activities which can be run with anyone interested in setting up a mentoring scheme, not just potential mentors themselves. The remaining activities are designed introduce UNISON activists to some key mentoring skills.
Central to the approach adopted in this course is the principle that mentoring will only be effective as a means of supporting new stewards where all branch officers are supportive and aware of the role the mentors will play. The activities within the course would fit well where, for example, a branch is keen to develop a mentoring scheme to support and involve new stewards in the day to day work of the branch. They could also be used as part of a branch’s support for Union Learning Reps and to encourage the development of a branch education team. It is not recommended however that the course be run aimed at anyone interested in either finding out about mentoring or training to be a mentor, because of the need to ensure full branch support and engagement.
Finally, these activities could also be used within a specific sector or self organised group, for example, where members employed by the same national employer but spread across different branches are establishing a support network.
The aims of the course are:
- To gain an understanding of what is mentoring
- To understand the context of a regional or branch strategy on mentoring
- To develop key mentoring skills including listening and questioning
- To develop awareness of the process of developing stewards
- To agree the scope and boundaries of the role of mentors within the branch (or other group)
On completion of the course, the learner will:
- Have a clear idea about the main approaches to mentoring, including traditional and peer mentoring
- Understand how being a mentor will work within their own branch and region
- Have an understanding of some of the key skills a mentor needs, and have practised these
- Have reflected on the stages of development of a new steward in UNISON, and identified key milestones when a mentor might be able to support a new steward
- Have identified some of the potential pitfalls which might arise when introducing a mentoring scheme and worked out how to tackle these
Have understood and developed a personal and branch protocol for operating as a mentor.