From July to December 2021, Communiteer and AVI (Australian Volunteers International) in partnership ran Pathway to Employment. This was a pilot program facilitating mentoring between university students and corporate volunteers, alongside skilled volunteering. Read our student volunteering case study below.
During our partnership with Gradwise, we supported students living with a disability, mental, physical health condition or injury.
In response to the growing youth employment crisis brought on by the pandemic and 2021 lockdowns, this program sought to increase student confidence in seeking employment after graduation through technical and transferable skill development with a corporate mentor.
- Universities will increase student employability scores via the application of transferable skills to the real world.
- Student volunteer will increase their confidence in employment after graduation by building transferrable skills and professional connections.
- Corporates will raise volunteer participation by engaging in a direct impact exchange with students, developing their professional skills and encouraging social connection.
- Corporate volunteers will build their leadership and professional skills, socially reconnecting and linking work to purpose.
4 cohorts of student/mentor pairs participated in a 12-week program, including:
- Induction workshops;
- Regular meetings and communication;
- Course content to guide reflections and discussions developed by AVI and delivered via the Communiteer platform; and
- Recognition and feedback collection.
Pairs were encouraged to complete skilled volunteering opportunities. This was together or individually, via the Communiteer platform.
By the end of the pilot:
Student Volunteer Experience
We surveyed students on their employment journey so far before commencing the program:
Relating to perceived skill competencies, students graded themselves fairly highly when it came to teamwork, digital literacy and problem-solving.
However, low grades were seen in professional work ethics, multicultural fluency and leadership skills.
Before pairing, mentors were asked what would be successful to them after the program. The responses touched on some key themes:
- Helping students come closer to achieving their career goals.
- Students feel like they gained a valuable experience through interaction.
- Open and honest communication with a continuing professional relationship.
The personal goals mentors wished to achieve for themselves included:
- Gaining confidence in leadership and coaching skills.
- Feeling a sense of accomplishment and contribution to someone in need.
- Connecting with new people and networking.
Including mentoring & project-based volunteering, this pilot accumulated 1400 + volunteering hours.
By the end of the pilot, Communiteer brought onboard 36 not-for-profit organisations supporting the causes of employability and education.
Spotlighting organisations brings awareness to student challenges and directs resources for societal impact.
The participatory pool of Pathway to Employment filled 30 skilled volunteering opportunities by 23 students on the Communiteer platform.
This has so far culminated in 76 hours of student skill- building experience.
On a holistic level, this program related to key targets under UN SDGs 4 and 8; Quality Education and Decent Work and Economic Growth. These included:
4.4: Increase the number of youth and adults who have relevant skills for employment, decent jobs, and entrepreneurship.
4.7: Ensure all learners acquire the knowledge and skills needed to promote the Sustainable Development Goals.
8.3: Promote development-oriented policies that support productive activities, decent job creation.
8.5: Achieve full and productive employment and decent work for all, including young people and persons with disabilities.
Into the Future for Student Volunteers
The combination of mentoring and volunteering as a Pathway to Employment presents significant potential to improve graduate employability outcomes.
This program was a great success. Communiteer and AVI have developed an ongoing mentoring program, operating in several cohorts throughout 2022.
To view the details of this program, head to our website.