UK civil servants develop matching service for mentors and mentees

By on 07/06/2016
mentormatch.org.uk is a website that aims to help match mentors with those seeking help in their career.

Civil servants in the UK have developed a website to help match mentors with those seeking help in their career.

Officials who sign up to Mentormatch.org.uk can enter the areas they’d like to develop and will be matched with people across the civil service network who can offer help.

Equally, civil servants seeking to be mentors can sign up with their areas of expertise.

Bryony Taylor, head of digital at the Department for Communities and Local Government (DCLG), who created the page with three fellow civil servants, said: “Mentoring is incredibly valuable for personal and professional development.

“Our aim is to make it more accessible and to ensure that the full diversity of the civil service, across the country, can either share their skills with others, or seek advice from the best people.

“Whether you’re leading change management across a department, or improving your competencies, what we all need is a guiding hand.”

Writing in a blog post published on Thursday, she said that while the civil service “has many bespoke mentoring schemes in place within departments, our aim is to provide an option that everyone can use.”

Mentoring, she added, “should not be about ‘who you know’, or about filling in long forms, it should be simple and focus on ‘who can offer you the best guidance’.”

The process of signing up, Taylor said, is “simple” and takes less than ten minutes.

Asked by one commentator to her blog post how much public money was spent on developing the new service, she said that Mentor Match was designed “from scratch in the spare time of the four civil servants [who] did it both to fix a problem we saw and and as a learning project” and that the project created “no cost to the taxpayer.”

Taylor also wrote that the service is open to the entire civil service network.

However, one official complained in a comment that the website was only open to people with email addresses ending in ‘gov.uk’, excluding departments such as the Ministry of Defence.

Taylor said the issue is being looked into.

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About Winnie Agbonlahor

Winnie is news editor of Global Government Forum. She previously reported for Civil Service World - the trade magazine for senior UK government officials. Originally from Germany, Winnie first came to the UK in 2006 to study a BA in Journalism & Russian at the University of Sheffield. She is bilingual in English and German, and, after spending an academic year abroad in Russia and reporting for the Moscow Times, Winnie also speaks Russian fluently.

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