Mentoring to work: towards minimal quality criteria
WORKSHOP LED BY PETER DE CUYPER
Peter De Cuyper is a sociologist and research manager at the university of Leuven. His main research domains are labour market integration of migrants and migrant integration policies. Since 2014 one of the research themes of Peter is “mentoring to work”. Peter developed one of the first mentoring projects in Belgium and is involved in several research projects about mentoring focusing on aspects of governance, quality and effectiveness of mentoring. Peter wrote a position paper defining the concept of mentoring to work trying to advance the research field.
Labour market integration is considered a key indicator for measuring migrant success in a host country. Despite numerous labour market interventions to address the large unemployment gap, migrants struggle to find work in their host societies. In an effort to address this, an increasingly popular yet out-of-the-box intervention in this context is ‘mentoring to work’. While there has been a long tradition (especially in the Anglo-Saxon world) of youth mentoring, workplace mentoring (mentoring at work) or mentoring in education, mentoring to work is a relatively new concept that is making headway primarily in Europe (and Canada). While mentoring to work adopts several aspects from other forms of mentoring, it addresses a different set of challenges and follows a different trajectory when compared to them. The heightened interest in mentoring to work for migrants has a potential downside: it entails not just a proliferation of initiatives, but also includes initiatives with incredibly diverse content that fall under the label of mentoring (e.g.: jobcoaching, intergenerational coaching…). Given this, there is a risk that mentoring will develop into a sort of catch-all term (a buzzword), making the actual scope and meaning of the term unclear. The inherent risk is that the specificity of mentoring will be lost, and in so doing cause the tool to lose its impact and credibility. A second risk is the fact that the field of mentoring to work is quite young and quality is not always guarantied (cfr Vandermeerschen & De Cuyper: 2018). So one of the most important challenges is to develop mentoring to work practices in a qualitative way.
In this workshop we first present our definition of mentoring to work and invite scholars and practioners to comment on the conceptualization (cfr De Cuyper ea, 2019). In a second part starting from challenges mentoring to work projects face, minimal criteria for mentoring to work programs will be discussed with the participants. Those minimal criteria are derived from existing quality labels used in other contexts combined with findings from evaluations of existing mentoring to work projects (Vandermeerschen & De Cuyper: 2018). Final goal of the workshop is to find a consensus about both the definition as the minimal quality criteria.
De Cuyper, Peter; Vandermeerschen, Hanne; Purkayastha, Damini; 2019. Migrant mentoring to work: defining an old-but-innovative instrument. International Journal of Evidence Based Coaching and Mentoring; 2019; Vol. 17; iss. 2; pp. 108 – 121. https://doi.org/10.24384/cy2r-jd97
De Cuyper peter & Hanne Vandermeerschen (2019), Mentoring to work for highly skilled immigrants. An effective tool against brain waste? An analysis of an innovative policy instrument. Leuven, HIVA-KULEuven.
Purkayastha D. & De Cuyper P. (2019), Best practices and critical success factors in mentoring to work for refugees and migrants: an evidence based study. Leuven: HIVA-KU Leuven.