Mentorship matters! Ask any of our recent class participants why they think mentorship matters after attending a two-day Mentorship Matters Train-the-Trainer at the International Training Center.
Many of the participants remember being lucky enough to have had a mentor sometime in their personal or professional life. The IUPAT recognizes that mentors play a crucial role not only in the trade skills development of an apprentice, but also the soft skills development that comes from the relationship and communication between a mentor and a mentee.
This program, presented by SkillPlan, is designed to provide the participants with hands-on learning and practice to improve communication and jobsite training through two programs; the Six Steps to Mentoring for the mentor, and the Six Skills for Apprentices/Members. Attendees of this class actively participated in the discussions and activities of the class and concluded with small groups providing teach-backs of the course material in preparation for implementing the program locally.
Mentorship in the trades is emerging as one of the most critical elements in workforce development. The construction industry is estimated to lose up to 20 percent of skilled tradespeople to retirement over the next decade leading to skilled labor challenges. While this situation presents advancement opportunities for younger workers, it gives rise to increasing demand for rapid skills development.
The core of the Mentorship training program is divided into two four-hour workshops. One workshop, will help journeypersons define mentorship, learn the qualities of a good mentor, and to understand the role that mentorship has in developing on the job skills, quality, safety, and productivity. The second program is for the mentee apprentice. They will learn how and when to ask questions of their mentor, how to communicate effectively, set goals, and the importance of a strong work ethic.
The ideal implementation of this course will include not only the apprentices and instructors of our district councils, but also the Directors of Training, employers and contractors, etc., who are looking for mentors willing to teach, provide feedback, demonstrate ethical work practices, and generally, provide professional (and sometimes personal) guidance to our member workers. Introducing our members to this program as a mentee will form a pathway for them to grow into the role of a mentor for the next generation.
Benefits of a mentor/mentee relationship include mutual feelings of inspiration, respect, and confidence and job satisfaction. This results in a work force that will be able to attract and retain new members in a lifelong career with the IUPAT.
Instructors can learn more in the LMS system at www.iFTI.edu to learn more about the Mentorship Matters classes.