Careers and Development

A Guide for Mentors

Welcome to our Careers and Development Toolkit.

The toolkit is designed for our mentors to help them guide and signpost young people in making informed subject and career choices.

The toolkit can be used alongside other toolkits in this series, namely:

Making an Early Start
(Years 7 to 9)

Positive Choices
(Years 10 to 11)

A Leap into the Future
(Years 12 and 13)

Guidance for Parents and Carers

Each section of the toolkits contains useful tips and tools, resources, contacts and
information to help raise educational and career aspirations.

For further information about this toolkit or to ask about other support opportunities
please contact

An introduction video to our toolkit


Mentoring is a way of enabling the mentee to gain the skills, knowledge
and confidence to make informed choices through giving them access
to impartial guidance and support.

Mentor – YOU Mentee – The Young Person

Your role as a Career Mentor?

Some of the skills you need to be a Career Mentor


What you do when you first meet with your Mentee

Below are some questions you can ask the young person as part of the mentoring sessions:

As you work with more young people, you will start to build a bank of useful questions which can help the young person make informed choices.

What you do when you first meet with your Mentee

It is important for you to value the young person

Share this with your mentee (young person)


Before we start, please look at Appendix 1 . This will help you to understand the different entry

Appendix 2 also provides further information about the new GCSE grading system.

And you can find out about UCAS’s tariff points to see how many points your child may need in in
order to enter the University of their choice.

UCAS has its own calculator here – you can also ask your child to use the drop-down boxes to
input their qualifications and grades, and the total will automatically be calculated. There is also a
full, in-depth guide to different qualifications here , and from Btecs to the International

However, UCAS also advises that not all qualifications attain points, so you shouldn’t worry if
yours doesn’t feature in that guide – very few international qualifications are included, for

Let’s Get Started

At the end of Year 8, young people would have tested themselves against several subjects and interest areas.

Many will know what they like and do not like, and you will find that they do well in:

What we must not forget is that there are some subjects which are compulsory in secondary school. Maths and English are compulsory from Years 7 to 11.

Many will know what they like and do not like, and you will find that they do well in:

Practical things you can do to help a young person make informed subject and career choices, includes

Your organisation may also do a few things to help the young people you mentor

A Helping Hand with CV Writing

Some useful tips when helping your child with their CV for that all important work experience placement, volunteering opportunity, internship or apprenticeship.

Some useful tips:

CV Sections

The following are key sections to include in your CV. Make sure you build relevant
content under each section.

Personal details/header: These are standard and required by all employers, but note
that you should not include your date of birth, marital status or gender. The essentials
to include are your name, address, email address and contact number

Personal profile: This is an optional section of a graduate CV template which can be
used to show the employer you are focused and determined to pursue a career in their
field. It should appear at the beginning of your CV, be no longer than 2-4 sentences
and give an overview of your current situation e.g. “I am looking for work experience in

Your education: Write in reverse chronological order, so start with your university
degree. This should be a snapshot of you as an academic e.g. your qualifications

Work experience: Include voluntary work and summer placements, extra-curricular

Interests and activities: Write about you as a person, outside of work, hobbies, sports
teams, societies/clubs, travel interests

References: Two references usually one academic and the other you’re your school,
work experience or priest…

A few more points!

Useful Resources

Subject Choices tool | My World of Work

Useful Links

Quizlet: (

Seneca Learning:

Freesciencelessons on Youtube: (

Physics and Maths Tutor: (

Sparknotes: (

Tutor2u: (

Fast Tomato: (

Mr Swift History on Youtube: (

UCAS Tariff:

Pearson career choices:

MI5 career:

Construction careers:

Psychology careers:

Skills assessment | National Careers Service

Prospects Career Planner :

SACU Career Quiz:

CITB – Go Construct:

NHS Find your career :

Cogent Career Choices:

WISE Campaign (Women into Science & Engineering) –My skills my life, try out the quizz:

Appendix 1

Understanding the different entry requirements.

You can also visit for more information:

Level 1

GCSEs, NVQs/VQs, awards/certificates/diplomas. Vocational and work-related qualifications may be studied full or part-time inschools and colleges from the age of 14. They are offered at levels 1 to 4 and are usually ‘BTECs’, ‘Cambridge Technical’ or ‘City and Guilds’qualifications. Broad range of subjects on offer eg engineering, artand design,construction, health and social care, business, IT and
leisure. Often course work based however changes mean that somecourses now include exams or practical assessments.

Level 2

GCSEs, NVQs/VQs, awards/certificates/diplomas

Level 3

 A levels, T levels, NVQs/VQs, awards/certificates/diplomas

and other qualifications

4 to 6

Higher education – certificates/diplomas, NVQs/VQs, foundation degrees, degrees

7 to 8

Postgraduate and professional – Masters, PhD

Foundation Degree

A foundation degree is a combined academic and vocational qualification in higher education, equivalent to two thirds of an honours bachelor’s degree. It is often pursued when you do not know what you want to do immediately after A levels.

Appendix 2

GCSE Grading System

The numerical grading was phased over four years, starting with the core 
compulsory subjects – maths and Englis`h GCSEs – in 2017. Most of the
main subjects switched over in 2018, including the humanities, sciences
and most modern languages.

All remaining subjects such as Biblical Hebrew, Persian, Portuguese and
Turkish switched to the new grading system in 2020.

Explaining the new grades

The 9-1 grading scheme was brought in alongside a new GCSE curriculum
in England.

The highest grade is 9, while 1 is the lowest, not including a U (ungraded).

Three number grades – 9, 8 and 7 – correspond to the old-style top grades
of A* and A – this is designed to give more differentiation at the top end