About mentoring

Mentoring is a partnership where a more experienced mentor shares their knowledge and expertise with a less experienced mentee. The mentee is encouraged, challenged and supported by the mentor to learn and grow.

Mentors don't need to be experts in their field, as someone in the early stages of their career can mentor someone wishing to enter the screen industry.

Benefits of mentoring for both parties include:

  • Seeing things from another’s perspective
  • Increasing your network
  • Giving and receiving feedback
  • Developing communication skills
  • Learning from the ideas and experiences of someone who is different to you
  • Using your creativity
  • Boosting your job satisfaction
  • A deeper appreciation of diversity and inclusivity

ScreenSkills has established the ScreenSkills Mentoring Network supported by the BFI with funds from the National Lottery under the BFI’s Future Film Skills Strategy.

The ScreenSkills Mentoring Network will run across all sectors of the screen industry and across the UK.  It is aimed at:

  • New entrants
  • Those who want to progress within or across the industry
  • Those who want to return after a break 

The programme will take the form of phased intakes of mentees. Each intake will focus on, for example, an under-represented group, a skills gap, stage of career etc., as identified by BFI and ScreenSkills research. Mentors may apply and be matched to a mentee at any point.

The next intake of mentees will focus on those working, or aspiring to work, in the screen industry outside of London. The deadline for applications is 31 October and we aim to start matching mentoring pairs from this intake on 1 November.

The mentee is expected to drive the partnership by organising meetings and preparing goals and questions. This is not about the mentor giving the mentee their next job or indeed unpaid work to do. It is about the mentoring participant and their development and confidence in the workplace. Interactions can take the form of face-to-face meetings, e-mentoring, or calls over WhatsApp, FaceTime, Skype etc.

ScreenSkills is also creating a mentoring community of best practice across all sectors of the screen industry in the UK, drawing together mentoring activity delivered by a wide variety of organisations and charities. To find out more about some of these mentoring schemes and programmes have a look at our community of best practice page. These organisations run a variety of initiatives – mentoring schemes as well as schemes (e.g. trainee programmes) that have a mentoring element. 

If you are considering being a mentee or a mentor, you can click here to download our Why be a mentor? guidance (PDF) or here to download our Why be a mentee? guidance (PDF). Take a look at these documents to get an overview of what to expect, and what is expected of you. 

The ScreenSkills Mentoring Network will run until March 2022. You may register your interest in being a mentor or mentee at any time, but we may not be able to match you straight away. We will match mentoring pairs based on targeted intakes addressing under-representation in the industry and skills shortages. If you're ready to register your interest in finding or becoming a mentor, click the buttons below:

If you would like to find out more about becoming part of the community of best practice, please contact mentoring@screenskills.com.

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Below is some information for mentors and mentees. You will find a longer guide and a shorter briefing about what mentoring is all about, what to expect and what is expected of you. The ‘sessions flow’ document illustrates how you can structure the mentoring conversations. Use the session log template to record what was discussed and agreed in the session. Use the action plan template to formalise the actions the mentee will do between sessions.