The stages of mentoring and guidance meetings

The mentoring process proceeds by the following stages:

  1. You prepare for your mentoring relationship
  2. You make a mentoring plan
  3. Regular guidance meetings begin
  4. You prepare interim and final assessments during the studies
  5. The mentoring relationship comes to an end.

Preparing for the mentoring relationship

If you want to be a mentor, you should take part in Good Deal mentor coaching. This is a good basis from which to begin a mentoring relationship.

Your local apprenticeship office organises coaching once or twice a year. The themes of coaching include an entrepreneur’s study in an apprenticeship, the role of guidance and the tasks of a mentor.

Furthermore, as a mentor, you should familiarise yourself with the basics of your student’s qualification and the requirements for vocational skills described in them. You can also get an introduction to these themes from the college responsible for information-centred training. From your student entrepreneur, you will also get a timetable plan and themes according to which theory training will proceed.

At the initial guidance meetings, as a mentor you will learn about the entrepreneur you are guiding and the operations of his/her company.

On-the-job training plan

The work-based learning plan is part of apprenticeship training, and is made at the start of studies together with the student and a representative of the apprenticeship centre. It is also good if the mentor takes part in making the plan.

The plan maps the current skills and development needs of the student entrepreneur, reflected in the selected qualification. At the same time, a plan is also made of the skills that can be strengthened by working with the mentor. The plans are made so that the information-centred studies and on-the-job training complement each other in the best possible way.

Guidance meetings

The most important function of the first guidance meeting is to make a guidance plan in which you agree on, among other things:

  • the roles of the mentor and the student entrepreneur
  • the objectives that the two of you want to work on
  • regular guidance meetings and the timetables for them
  • assessment timetables for apprenticeship training.

At the guidance meetings, you will deal with, among other things:

  • new matters that have come out in information-centred training and how they can be applied to the entrepreneur’s business
  • questions concerning development functions
  • topical themes raised by the entrepreneur
  • other learning needs.

How often should there be meetings with the mentor?

It is the responsibility of the student entrepreneur to keep in touch with his/her mentor. You will meet at intervals of 4-6 weeks or based on the training objectives and needs. In between meetings, the student should call or e-mail his/her mentor.

The content of guidance meetings should be agreed on in advance. In addition to topical matters, you can also deal with, for example, questions you have presented in advance, which you, as the mentor, can familiarise yourself with before you meet.

At the end of the meeting, you will agree on a time for the next guidance meeting, as well as its objectives and topics. In communications between meetings, you can use, for example, Google Drive, a closed Facebook group, Skype or e-mail.

And that’s not yet all!

  • A mentor also challenges, encourages and gives feedback.
  • He/she encourages the student entrepreneur to assess him/herself.
  • He/she takes care of assessment discussions concerning the entrepreneur’s learning in good time, and makes interim assessments.

The end of the guidance relationship

Everything good comes to an end. When it ends, you should agree on the following things:

  • Make a final assessment and assess what has been learned in relation to the objectives of the training and the qualification gained.
  • Assess the success of the guidance. The student entrepreneur will give feedback to the mentor.
  • Assess what the student entrepreneur has gained from the information-centred learning.
  • Agree on how the student entrepreneur will take his/her objectives forward independently once the mentoring relationship has ended.