the heart of mentoring

The Heart of Mentoring

In our ‘Work Integrated Learning’ blog post we unpacked Work Integrated Learning (or WIL as it is often referred to as) in order to signify the purpose and importance of this process. We briefly touched upon the objectives of your workplace mentors and in this edition, we would like to validate that your workplace mentors are super amazing, multi-tasking, lifesaving miracle workers who allow your learners to see hope inside themselves.

Before we begin our journey into the heart of mentoring, let’s sum up notional hours and the split between theory and practical experience:

  • Notional hours refers to the estimated learning time taken by the ‘average’ learner to achieve the specified learning outcomes of a programme (1 credit = 10 notional hours)
  • As suggested by SAQA (South African Qualifications Authority) it is recommended that notional hours be split as outlined below:
    • 30% of the 10 notional hours is the theory component (3 hours)
    • 70% of the 10 notional hours = is the practical experience component (7 hours)

(This is for historical qualifications aligned to SETAs. The split for qualifications aligned to QCTO varies according to the nature of the qualifications).

Often as Skills Development Providers (SDPs) we tend to put all our efforts into finding that ‘perfect’ facilitator and spend little to no time ensuring that when our learners are in the workplace that they have mentors that teach your learners how to think not what to think. Isn’t it ironic that the focus tends to be on the facilitator who spends less than half the amount of time with learners compared to that of the mentors?

The harsh reality is that often learners are assigned to mentors in the workplace whom are unaware as to what is expected of them and/or who are so caught up in their daily roles and responsibilities that they have little to no time to actually grow the learner.

If every great achiever is inspired by a great mentor, we encourage you as Skills Development Providers (SDPs) to build relationships with your host employers and more specifically your workplace mentors. Workplace mentors are by far the most important aspect in ensuring the success of your learners. With the right guidance and with time, your workplace mentors will empower your learners to see a successful future, and believe it can obtained.

Have you had a personal experience with a great mentor? We would love to hear about it…

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