Mentoring 2 Work Project Evaluation

Youth unemployment can have significant effects on young people’s health and wellbeing with implications that can be severe and long lasting. Without timely and targeted intervention, young adults are at a high risk of missing out on a strong entry into the labour market, resulting in long-term financial disadvantage.

Mentoring programs have gained popularity in recent years, especially in relation to young people, as they meet a human need for the giving and receiving of intergenerational support.

The Mentoring 2 Work (M2W) Project was designed to assist unemployed young people find work through mentoring support. Delivered under the Australian Government Department of Social Services ’ ‘Try, Test and Learn’ fund, with COTA WA selected as the backbone organisation of the program, it provided one-on-one mentoring support to unemployed young adults with a focus on career exploration, job-readiness and finding a job.

Researchers from Centre for Social Impact UWA evaluated the M2W Project across four reports:

Report one: One good relationship can transform a life - The design and implementation of the Mentoring 2 Work Project

This design and implementation report outlines how best-practice principles were applied in the design and implementation of the M2W Project and discusses some key learnings that emerged from its delivery.

The report is divided into two main parts. The first part discusses employment mentoring and presents the M2W model. This is followed by a discussion on program design, program operation and program evaluation.

The focus then turns to Implementation, covering the various elements of program delivery, including program marketing and participant recruitment, participant screening, the matching process, participant training, mentoring activities, ongoing support from program staff, and program closure.

Report two: Mentoring unemployed young adults to dream bigger and break down the steps to reach their goals - Process evaluation of the Mentoring 2 Work Project

This process evaluation report focuses on the program operation, beginning with recruitment, screening and sign up followed by training and preparation form mentors and mentees. It presents the processes for matching mentors and mentees, mentoring activities, support from project staff and program closure. It concludes with key observations and considerations that underpin the project’s activities.

Report three: Mentoring unemployed young adults to become job and life ready - Outcomes evaluation of the Mentoring 2 Work Project

This outcomes evaluation report focuses on survey responses and outcomes for M2W and control group participants across a variety of domains relevant to employment, including health, education, housing, wellbeing, job readiness, barriers to employment, and employment.

Mentoring experiences are explored, primarily for the M2W group, however the control group’s experiences of formal and informal mentoring received from sources other than M2W are also examined. Finally, a conclusion chapter summarises the findings and comments on the implications for continuation of the project and youth unemployment in Australia.

Report four: Mentoring unemployed young adults to develop employment and life skills through the COVID-19 pandemic - Mentor and mentee feedback on the Mentoring 2 Work Project extension

This mentor and mentee feedback report presents the experiences of the mentors and mentees who participated in the post-COVID-19 project extension. The report presents a background and context of the project followed by a discussion on youth unemployment in Australia.

The evaluation methodology is presented with a demographic profile of the participants and the survey results are also discussed. The report concludes with an overview and discussion on the main outcomes of the project.