Sunderland professional joins our mentor scheme – will you be next?

Louise Dixon
Louise Dixon
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COULD you help young people in Sunderland get the best possible start in their working life?

City accountant John Anderson is among the first wave of volunteers to sign up for the University of Sunderland’s Professional Mentoring Scheme.

Accountant, John Anderson.

Accountant, John Anderson.

The scheme, now in its second year, sees employers and employees sharing their experience to help prepare students for the world of work.

Students are matched by career interest with mentors from a range of public and private sector organisations across Sunderland.

Mr Anderson believes too many people go into business ill-prepared for the realities and that it is important that those already in business share the benefit of their experience, good and bad.

“I have been an accountant for more than 20 years and been running my own business in Sunderland for that time,” he said.

“During which I have spoken to as many as two thousand people, explaining about the importance of book-keeping and explaining how things have changed with regard to things like PAYE, VAT and taxation.

“Many people have no understanding about how VAT works, about many aspects of taxation and things like that.

“Many people can’t understand their own payslip.

“I just think someone like myself can explain these things to people and open their eyes.

During three one-hour sessions spread over the course of an academic year, students will hear from those who have gained extensive experience in the world of work.

Scheme manager Louise Dixon said: “These sessions will benefit our students greatly. Hopefully the experience will motivate them to take a pro-active approach to their own employability by taking ownership of their career planning.”

Upon registering, mentors will be provided with dates of forthcoming induction sessions, which have been carefully planned to ensure mentors fully understand what to expect from their involvement.

To register, or find out more, contact Louise by e-mail standout@sunderland.ac.uk or call 515 3555.