How young creatives benefit from more informal mentorship

The emotional support mentorship offers can be just as beneficial as professional advice. CR uncovers how two programmes make a less rigid and more empathetic approach work

There’s no question that mentorship can be hugely beneficial, particularly in helping newcomer creatives to navigate an industry that can be confusing and overwhelming. In recent years, many different kinds of schemes have sprung up, as have conversations around the value of mentorship – and the best way to do it. But for some organisations, a less formal approach is proving successful.

Creative consultancy The People partnered with alcohol-free beer brand Freestar to launch mentorship scheme The Hotline in October 2020, setting out to help people revamp their CVs and portfolios, prepare for interviews, and offer general work advice in a time of particularly high youth unemployment.

“The People is powered by a community of 150 young creators, and we were seeing this with our own eyes,” says co-founder Kian Bakhtiari. “The impact [Covid] was having on young people’s lives, but also future prospects – because when you’re that age you have all these ambitions for the future, and suddenly it’s taken from you. So whether you were working in hospitality or retail, and suddenly can’t work anymore, or are let go, or you’ve graduated and had a job lined up but it’s been taken away.