FRIDAY 5 DEC 2014 3:52 PM

MENTORING PLATFORM GUIDES FLEDGLING DIGITAL PROFESSIONALS

Much has been said about the skills gap affecting the digital industry, and this has led to companies deciding to take the education of the next generation into their own hands. One of the organisations fuelling this trend is Connect Mentors.

A mentoring organisation, Connect Mentors uses an online platform to connect students, non-students, and junior and senior staff, with mentors to help them develop their careers in digital.

Elina Hedman, co-founder at Connect, says, “While Connect Mentors is social responsibility for our client, it’s also employer branding and recruitment.” Companies with mentors on the platform include Tesco, ASOS and Hailo.

Connect Mentors runs events such as speed mentoring sessions, but its main resource is an online platform that matches people with personal mentors.

Andrew Bennett, co-founder at Connect, says, “The events give us an insight, whereas the platform is about creating that perfect match. You can sign up, tell us what you want to do, and what level you’re at, and we can match you with the perfect person. That’s been the hard thing with mentoring. It’s finding the perfect match and that’s what we, on the technical side, want to perfect.”

The prominence of digital and tech across every industry makes it a viable career option for many, and the companies who join the Connect platform invest in educating and influencing potential future employees.

The student events are also a CSR opportunity and a rewarding experience for tech professionals. “In the past couple of years, start-ups, apps and new tech are so cool and compelling, and we need to use that excitement to actually bring people into the tech industry and educate them.” Says Bennett.

By providing an insight into the industry Connect allows aspiring digital professionals to see what the reality of a tech job looks like, and to gain a greater understanding of the roles available to them. It is difficult for traditional educators to provide this kind of service on their own.

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