“The day I lost my job is the same day I filled out the application for this placement. It’s a day I won’t forget because although I feared facing an uncertain future, little did I realise that a new door was opening at the same time.” Wayne Niles started his new career as a Trainee BME (Black and Minority Ethnic) Mentor at Ralph Thoresby School in Leeds for 6 months. In his placement, he was assigned practical tasks and hands-on experience in mentoring secondary BME pupils. He also attended regular team meetings and treated as part of the school team. He gained practical skills, diverse means of nurturing young learners’ academic potentials, as well as, dealt with some behaviour issues.

His wife told him that he achieved more in his 6 months training through PATH Yorkshire more than he had in the last 10 years of his working career. Like any PATH trainees, Wayne was required to attend a 2-day Induction Program at PATH, where trainees are prepared and guided for their respective placement. During the placement, Wayne was assigned a supervisor who was primarily responsible for his guidance and support at Ralph Thoresby School. His supervisor coordinated his job training specifications with the appointed PATH Training Coordinator and both met periodically to review Wayne’s progress and any developments necessary for the placement to be successful.

At Ralph Thoresby, Wayne felt appreciated and felt a sense of achievement in his role as a mentor and regarded his award as “The Outstanding Trainee of the Year 2010” as an unexpected bonus to a very fulfilling job training experience. He is now permanently employed as a Full-Time BME Mentor at Ralph Thoresby School.