A PROJECT which helps some of the most disadvantaged teenagers in Scotland's largest city has been given a boost after a university pledged to get staff to lend their skills to the scheme.

The University of Strathclyde has announced that its business school has set a target of attracting 20 per cent of its staff to the MCR Pathways mentoring scheme.

Mentors work on a one-to-one basis with youngsters who have been involved with e care system and provide advice on accessing avenues to further education or into a career.

MCR Pathways began in in six schools in Glasgow and has attracted more then 500 mentors to the cause. Research has found that 82 per cent of its mentored young people go from school to employment, further or higher education, compared to 47.8 per cent in the same schools who were not mentored.

Staff from the business school will join workers from other organisations who have already signed up, including Glasgow City Council, the Scottish Funding Council, Glasgow Kelvin Colledge and City Building, the biggest employer of apprentices in Scotland.


Professor David Hillier

Professor David Hillier, Dean of the University of Strathclyde Business School said: “It's very much a two-way approach. It's what we can do for society, but we’re also able to have an impactful staff development programme through this mentoring.

"Research has shown that the best leaders are those leaders who can empathise with people. The best way that you can really learn to empathise with people is to work with others. Working with others in a very non-judgemental way, and to understand and to empathise with individuals.

"Getting our staff to work with young people, although it can be the most gratifying of engagements, it can also be the most challenging of engagements. Our staff will develop leadership skills which will put them in a great position for developing their own career as well."

He added: "My interactions with MCR has left me in no doubt that this is an incredibly effective approach to allowing people to optimise their life, to achieve their ambitions and to go forward and make something of themselves.”


Iain MacRitchie

Iain MacRitchie, who founded the programme in 2007, said the Business School’s commitment would have a "vital" impact on the scheme.

He said: “The pledge by the University of Strathclyde’s Business School to encourage and support their staff to mentor as part of their day jobs is fantastic and leadership at its most effective.

"A mentor can makes the difference to a young person’s educational outcome and life chances. So much so that Glasgow City Council will embed our Young Glasgow Talent programme across all Glasgow schools over the next three years.

"Our young people are completely reliant on the support of individual Glaswegians and businesses alike."

Can you help a young person realise their full potential and be defined by their talent not their circumstances or postcode?

The Herald and Evening Times are supporting the Young Glasgow Talent campaign by MCR Pathways to recruit mentors and organisations for its schools based mentoring and talent taster programme.

More disadvantaged young Glaswegians are signing up for mentors to help them overcome barriers and inequality to be all they can be. One hour a week and a willingness to put a young person first are all you need. You'll make and experience a life-changing difference in helping a young person to find, grow and use their talents.

MCR Pathways will provide all the training and support you need. 

For more information or to register, please go to www.youngglasgowtalent.org, email info@mcrpathways.org or call on 0141 221 6642.