ENVISION Employment volunteer mentors will support their mentees to:
- Identify and focus on their strengths and interests
- Leverage these strengths and interests to set goals for their career
- Gain clarity about their needs, goals, and future pathways pertaining to employment
- Increase their understanding of the steps needed to enter the workforce in Australia, including:
- Identifying relevant job opportunities
- Preparing CVs, cover letters and KSC documents
- Performing well in interviews
- Navigating workplace culture
- Build confidence, feel supported and feel more prepared for work
Mentors and mentees continue to work together if the mentees secure employment. That’s because, along with supporting young people to overcome the barriers they face entering the workforce, ENVISION Employment is committed to creating opportunities for young people to succeed and stay in the workforce.
Download the ENVISION Employment Volunteer Position Description.
Information for volunteers
Experienced professionals – people with 3+ years’ work experience in Australia who can offer their time, skills, and experience to help prepare newly-arrived young migrants and refugees to find work in Australia.
Migrant and refugee young people experience unique challenges that impact their ability to find, secure, and retain employment in Australia. These challenges can include disrupted schooling, language barriers, and a lack of knowledge about the employment environment and workplace expectations in Australia.
ENVISION Employment aims to improve the career outcomes of youth who often find it difficult to secure meaningful, lasting employment in Australia because of diverse and complex challenges.
What will I be doing?
The program provides young people with mentoring support for up to 12 months to help participants adjust to, prepare to enter, and stay in, the workforce in Australia.
As a mentor, you will provide support to 2 mentees by:
- Encouraging them to recognise and focus on their strengths and interests
- Advising them on ways to identify and work towards their goals
- Supporting them to better understand the processes of looking for and applying to jobs
- Guiding them by sharing your experience working in Australia, thus helping them to better understand the expectations in, and realities of, the workplace
- Assisting them to develop their communication skills relevant to work
Why two mentees?
The ENVISION Employment program matches 1 volunteer mentor with 2 mentees, who ‘buddy up’ to take part in mentoring activities for employment support.
Working through mentoring activities in a pair or small group is proven to be especially beneficial for social connection. This ‘peer’-focussed model is supportive and encouraging for mentees, incentivising them to participate and help one another on their journey to finding meaningful work.
For the volunteer mentor, traditional one-on-one mentoring can sometimes be a lot of pressure. This is alleviated by the 1:2 model, as the pair of mentees hold each other accountable and keep each other motivated.
Research into mentoring models for young people from refugee and migrant backgrounds shows that a ‘group’ mentoring model is often more effective than a 1:1 match, at:
- Combatting potential challenges to young peoples’ social nature in order to meet the mentees’ social needs
- Providing the mentees with empathy, social support, and a sense of belonging – These attributes may assist young people to negotiate cultural issues and challenges experienced in their daily lives.
- In some instances, linking mentees with other young people outside of their cultural group to create an extended social support network and provide them the opportunity to mix with peers they might not normally have had contact with (CMY 2006)
How much time do I need to commit?
Mentors and mentees should meet in person, monthly or twice monthly, for 12 months. In between meetings, mentors can keep in touch with young people over the phone, via text message, or email.
Do I need any special skills or training?
We are looking for volunteer mentors from a range of professions and backgrounds who have a minimum of 3 years’ work experience in Australia.
All volunteer mentors take part in a thorough training session as part of their induction. The training provides insight on building trusting mentoring relationships and cross-cultural awareness and communication, especially relating to job-readiness issues.
Otherwise, we require mentors to be positive, supportive, encouraging and patient individuals with excellent interpersonal and communication skills. Take a look at the Position Description for the volunteer mentor role.
Can I refer young people?
Mentors and staff from settlement services organisations are encouraged to invite young people to participate in the program. You can access an external referral form here.
The program is available to young people who meet the following criteria:
- Are humanitarian migrants or refugees who have been living in Australia for less than 5 years
- Are actively interested in seeking employment
- Are able to commit to the requirements of the program, even if they are studying or completing an apprenticeship or traineeship
- Are aged 18-25 years and living in Melbourne
“I wouldn’t have gotten this job without the help of my mentor. I was really appreciative that he prioritised our relationship although he worked full-time, it’s been really helpful”