Welsh professionals introduced to mentoring

Members of the film and television industry in Wales turned out in force for the inaugural roadshow explaining the benefits of mentoring for mentors and mentees.

Attendees mentoring roadshow during networking exercise

The mentoring roadshow follows the launch of the ScreenSkills Mentoring Network - supported by the BFI with funds from the National Lottery under the BFI’s Future Film Skills Strategy. The network aims to match mentors and mentees to enable new and established professionals to support each other as they progress in their careers.

After a brief introduction about the mentoring scheme, the group of 37 professionals listened to the case study of Clare Hudson, a freelance executive producer who formerly worked for BBC Wales with considerable mentoring experience. Stressing how beneficial a mentoring relationship is for both parties involved, she said that “if both sides play their part well, mentoring can be life-changing.”

While mentoring can help talent progress in their careers, it enables mentors to expand their skillset at the same time. It is also way to give back to the industry. “If you don’t find ways to pass your knowledge on, you are wasting what other people invested in you,” Clare said. “Mentoring enables you to make a difference."

After a short break, the professionals participated in an interactive training session by ScreenSkills Mentoring Manager Jane Saunders. She talked about the value of having a network in the screen industry. Putting the skill of networking into practice, attendees were then invited to discuss in groups what makes a person a good mentor or mentee.

“Mentoring is not just a nice chat over a cup of coffee – it is a professional confidential partnership,” Jane explained in the discussion that followed. “A great mentee is proactive and drives the partnership by making contact and organising meetings and a great mentor shares advice and ideas, keeps the conversation focused and helps the person they support come up with ideas and think for themselves.”

In addition to this first roadshow, ScreenSkills will host a roadshow in Leeds on 18 September. We will also run events in Belfast and Edinburgh soon.

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