Student successes after mentor scheme


Students celebrate success thanks to pilot mentoring scheme

Two students are celebrating individual successes after taking part in a pilot mentoring scheme at Duchy College, part of The Cornwall College Group.

Tom Wheeler has passed his Royal Navy interview and will join in March subject to a medical, while Steph Byworth was successfully interviewed to become a student ambassador at the College.

Both Tom and Steph say their success was thanks to the support and coaching they received on the Mentor+ scheme. The scheme, which was the brainchild of Alastair Carnegie from Cornish-based energy broker Total Energy Solutions, links Duchy College with mentors from local businesses and the church to provide employability mentoring.

The project is designed to build students’ self-confidence and equip them with key employability skills, such as writing a CV, interview techniques and body language tips before they head out into the world of work.

To prepare him for his Royal Navy interview, 17-year-old Tom, took part in interview coaching sessions with mentors Kathryn Carnegie, of Total Energy Solutions, and retired Royal Naval Lieutenant Commander Dominic Nelson.

Tom, who passed his Royal Navy entry interview with flying colours a few days later, said: “Mentor+ gave me a great insight in to what an employer expects from you when going for a job interview. It taught me what to say that would make me stand out from the crowd. It also taught me how to set out my CV properly so that employers carry on reading through it, and put me in the small pile of future employees.”

Meanwhile, Steph, aged 20, took part in mentoring sessions with Alastair Carnegie, managing director of Total Energy Solutions, on body language and interview techniques.

Steph said: “The programme gave me new skills in body language and how to conduct myself in an interview. I feel a lot more confident about interviews and that, when I move on from college, I will be able to get a job.”

Mr Carnegie, of Total Energy Solutions said: “The potential of this pilot scheme is huge and could change the way business, education and the local community work together across the country. We have already seen two success stories in our first few weeks.

“It’s vital that students understand that an interview is not a test, that employers want them to do well, and it is our aim to give them the tools to be successful. The great news is that Duchy College is totally onboard with the scheme and working with Wendy Ambrose, team leader for public services at Duchy, in putting this together has been great - lots of hard work but amazing potential. We hope to be in a position to roll out the scheme across the College for the start of term in September.”

The pilot is working with 30 public service students over a six-month period. It includes classroom-based sessions from both lecturers and mentors from the local community, both working and retired, and one-to-one mentoring throughout the process.

Wendy Ambrose said: “The Mentor+ scheme offers an incredibly exciting opportunity for our learners: the knowledge that they can draw on from the mentors is staggering. They learn first-hand how to make themselves more employable and gain excellent advice on their letters of application, their CVs and how to conduct themselves at interview. All learners currently involved with Mentor+ are fully engaged with it and eager to learn.

“On a personal note, seeing the progression of employability skills within each learner and seeing almost instant results is simply inspirational. As Ali says, ‘together we can change lives’…and we are, for the better.”


For further information contact Jayne Freer at or call 07711 264087

Notes To Editor:

  • Total Energy Solutions is a trusted market leader in brokering energy deals for small, medium and large companies across Devon and Cornwall
  • We believe in open and honest communication with our clients about energy and prices and are transparent about the commission earned
  • We have signed up to the TPI Code of Practice
  • We strongly believe that businesses should give something back to the communities in which they work and we give 10% of our profit and time to local charitable organisations