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'First Mentor' initiative to run again

Published: 8 Mar 2018 00:01

Applications now open.

The ‘First Mentor’ initiative, which gives a young woman aged between 18-23 a chance to be mentored by the First Minister, will run again in 2018.  Following the success of the 2017-18 opportunity, a new round of applications will open today.

To enable more young women to benefit from the programme, Scottish Chambers of Commerce have committed to match some of the shortlisted candidates with mentors in their network.

The First Minister announced the launch on International Women’s Day during a visit to Tribe Porty. The Portobello-based social enterprise is piloting a women in enterprise project – the Tribe Women Enterprise School, with support from the Scottish Government.

She also called on other women in leadership roles to join her by pledging to give some of their time to help a woman or girl achieve her goals.

The First Minister said:

“Through the ‘First Mentor’ initiative I have the pleasure of mentoring Charlotte Liddell, a young mum of two from Fife. Seeing her grow in confidence and discover her potential in the past few months has been a truly enriching experience, and she has also taught me a lot by giving me a new perspective on the many issues affecting young people today. That is why I have decided to extend the ‘First Mentor’ initiative and look for a mentee again this year, with the help of Young Scot.

“I am also calling on other women in leadership roles to join me. Not just Chief Executives or Chairs of big organisations, but any woman who feels that she has something to offer. By giving our time and sharing our experiences, we can support a new generation of women to reach their potential, and learn from them in return.”

Ms Liddell said:

“Through this mentorship programme, I’ve been given opportunities that I had only ever dreamt of. Too often, young people are told they will never amount to anything – especially young parents. This mentorship has inspired me to help other young people to believe in themselves – especially those whose voices are not heard.”

Liz Cameron OBE, Director & Chief Executive, Scottish Chambers of Commerce, said:

“Young talent is the lifeblood of any nation and it’s critical that we shine a torch on the path ahead and guide young people to future success. That’s why I am delighted that the First Mentor initiative will run again, building on the success from last year. Matching ambitious, driven and aspiring young women with experienced and successful women from industry, is a powerful combination, positively impacting Scotland’s economy and our communities.”

The First Mentor opportunity is a joint initiative by the Scottish Government and Young Scot. Applications can be submitted on the Young Scot website.

Scottish Chambers of Commerce supported the delivery of the First Mentor initiative in 2017, matching six of the shortlisted candidates with business mentors from industry.

In August 2017, Charlotte Liddell from Buckhaven was announced as the successful candidate of the first edition of the ‘First Minister: First Mentor’ competition. Her mentorship is due to end in Summer 2018:

In 2017-18, the Scottish Government is supporting Tribe Porty’s women in enterprise project, the ‘Tribe Women Social Enterprise School’, with £36,000 funding.