The mentor’s responsibility is to motivate and encourage the people in his/her care. The goal is to encourage them to remain in the same position for a minimum of two years and to aspire to the standards required to qualify them for an overseas internship. The mentor will help them to deal with difficulties they may encounter in the workplace, without dealing with the difficulties for them. The apprentice should also be encouraged to obtain a driver’s licence during this period. The process is designed to help each person to aspire to his/her full potential.
The purpose of the mentor’s visit is to establish that:
• The apprentice is still in the employ of the farmer with whom he/she is registered
• The apprentice is being paid the correct wage in terms;
• The apprentice is performing his/her work in the satisfactory manner of the employer;
• The apprentice is happy in his/her environment;
• To advise and guide the apprentice through his/her decision making processes, development and growth and
• To develop a good relationship with the farmer and discuss the progress of the apprentice with him or her
Mentorship is critical. There must always be someone for the apprentices to call, should they feel that they need advice or find themselves out of their depth. When they travel overseas, the organisations who are responsible for placements, have contact people for them to call, should they need it.
The important thing about the Youth Discovery Programme is that the interns spend the first week in the country they will be working in on an orientation course. This means that they are taught local ways of doing things and their skills are evaluated so that they are placed appropriately. The Programme provides them with backup throughout the year. Mentorship is ongoing and is there for those who need it, even after they have become successful and highly qualified farm managers.
The underlying and uncompromising principle of the Future Farmers Foundation is that only opportunities and mentorship are provided for the apprentices – it is up to each of them to make the most of their opportunity. Another vital aspect of the program is that these young people payback every step of the way - which is possible as they earn as they learn.
The Future Farmers Foundation is preparing them to become successful farmers and this is part of the process of learning to take responsibility for themselves and ultimately, others as well.
Email email@example.com should you be interested in providing an opportunity or mentorship for a learner.