1. What is the Vocational Mentorship Program?
Answer: The Vocational Mentorship Program is an on-the-job mentorship program that pairs Trained Professionals with Disabilities with PQCHC staff for an unpaid three month placement. The purpose of the program is to:
- Provide participants with a unique opportunity to gain hands on work experience in a professional environment.
- Provide the participant with the opportunity to develop social and professional networks.
- To practice and enhance skills and abilities in their field of expertise.
2. Who is a Program Facilitator?
Answer: The Vocational Mentorship Program Facilitator will link you to the program. The program facilitator matches the participant with the mentor and the placement, provides orientation at the beginning of the placement, and supports all mentors and participants throughout the placement. The facilitator organizes recognition events and facilitates peer support meetings for mentees.
3. Who is a Mentee?
Answer: A mentee is a trained professional with a disability who has been accepted into the program through an interview process and has been paired with a staff member of PQCHC.
4. Who is a Mentor?
Answer: A mentor is an experienced staff member at PQCHC who has been paired with a mentee according to their field of expertise.
5. What are the criteria to have this considered as a successful placement and receive the certificate of completion?
Answer: A certificate of completion from the program is granted when one of the following occurs:
- The participant has completed 144 hours of placement and has attended the mandatory peer support meetings and workshops.
- The participant has found a job in their field of expertise (at any time during the placement)
- The participant has been accepted in an academic program to pursue studies related to their professional and career development.
6. How long do you keep the applications that have not been selected for the placements?
Answer: Applications are kept on file for duration of 6 months.
7. Does participation in the Vocational Mentorship Program guarantee my employment with either PQCHC or another organization?
Answer: The program does not guarantee employment with PQCHC or any other organization. The Vocational Mentorship Program provides the unique opportunity to gain work experience in a real work environment in their field of expertise, as well as giving the opportunity to develop professional and social networks. However, if you are interested in applying to a position at PQCHC, you can apply through PQCHC website in the career section. All open vacancies are posted there.
8. Are mentors expected to provide employment support in the form of job search strategies and resume and cover letter writing?
Answer: Mentors are not required to provide support with resume and cover letter writing. PQCHC Employment Services offers resume writing workshops, interviewing workshops and employment supports which you are encouraged to access. The program facilitator also provides career development support at peer support meetings. However, mentors do have valuable knowledge about their fields of expertise and feedback and guidance is strongly recommended. Mentees are generally asking for an opinion of feedback as they continue to work towards understanding their field of expertise and what positions their skills are best suited for. It is recommended to support the mentee in areas where the mentor feels comfortable supporting, provide clear feedback, and refer the mentee to connect with the program facilitator for additional support and feedback.
9. As a mentee, what happens once I finish my 3 month placement?
Answer: When you finish your 3 month placement you will complete an exit interview. A certificate of completion will be presented and there will be a celebration with all successful participants and their mentors. Depending on your personal choice you many want to continue as a volunteer at PQCHC, or pursue different options in different organizations according to available opportunities and personal interest.
10. The placement is 12 hours a week for a duration of 3 months. Can we spread out the 12 hours however we want during the week?
Answer: Yes. You and your mentor can discuss the hours and make a schedule that works for both yourself and your mentor.
11. As a mentee, can I apply to different jobs throughout my placement?
Answer: Yes, you can apply to jobs at any point throughout your placement.
12. Can the mentee complete more than 12 hours per week?
Answer: It must be discussed with the mentee, mentor and the program facilitator in order to define how the objectives of the placement will be met.
13. Who sets up workstation or workspace for the placements?
Answer: The mentor will make accommodations for the work area according to the specific needs of the program that the placement is in. The mentee should discuss any needs for accommodation with the program facilitator prior to the beginning of the placement so that the program facilitator can let the mentor know and the mentor can make the accommodations necessary. Also, when necessary, the program facilitator provides the badges required to have access to the PQCHC main site building.
14. As a mentee, I find it difficult to make it to the peer support meetings; can I still participate in the program?
Answer: The peer support meetings, workshops and training are a vital component to the overall mentoring experience and they are mandatory. The meetings facilitate the reflection of your skills and experiences, connects you with the rest of the group, and to the program staff. Failing to attend the peer support meetings, workshops and training severely limits the program experience and could result in an incomplete placement.
15. When are the peer support meetings?
Answer: The peer support meetings are held every 2 weeks at PQCHC, the dates will be determined at the beginning of the placement. Please keep this in mind when planning your schedule.
16. Will PQCHC pay for specific workshops and training that the mentee would like to attend?
Answer: No. The mentee will be provided with specific training as part of the program however, any additional workshops or training the mentee would like to attend will not be covered. If it is required by the program in which the mentee has been placed, it will be up to the mentor/program facilitator to make the decision based on funding and training availability.
17. If there is a challenge with your mentor or mentee how can the situation be resolved?
Answer: You should first approach your mentor or mentee in a respectful and calm way to express your concerns. Try to offer different alternatives to solve the situation. If you do not feel comfortable doing so or the challenge continues to be unresolved, contact the program facilitator.
18. What is the process to guarantee the confidentiality and private information of our clients when we have a mentee working with our programs?
Answer: Each participant has gone through a screening process that consists of an interview, personal references check and police records check. They have also signed all the documentation related with privacy and confidentiality required by PQCHC.
19. I plan on taking a few weeks’ vacation; can I still participate in the program?
Answer: Yes. People take time off, planned or unplanned, these things happen. The program is designed to provide flexibility for both the mentor and the mentee. Time missed can be made up by extending the placement a few hours/weeks at the end. Ultimately, it is up to both the mentor and the mentee to get the most out of the program.
20. Does the Vocational Mentorship Program provide support for transportation cost?
Answer: The Vocational Mentorship Program does not provide transportation for the mentees’ to get to their placement. It is the responsibility of the mentee to ensure transportation to and from their placement as well as to the peer support meetings that occur every second week.
21. As a mentee I need extra support to complete my placement, who can I talk to?
Answer: If a mentee needs extra support to complete their placement they can discuss with the program facilitator the supports needed prior to beginning their placement. Also, if the mentee feels at any time during the placement they need extra support they are encouraged to speak with the program facilitator as soon as possible so that accommodations could be made in order to ensure a successful placement.