The only charity in Wales with a focus on supporting over-50s into business and into the workplace has partnered with the globally recognised, National Mentoring Day initiative in a bid to urge would-be volunteer mentors to sign up and help the thousands of over-50s who have found themselves out of work since the Covid pandemic hit. (Nearly 600,000 more older workers are now unemployed compared with two years ago.)

The exciting new partnership has committed to recruiting and training 200 new mentors across Wales to support those over 50 to get jobs and start businesses.

PRIME Cymru Chief Executive, David Pugh, said, “We are on a Wales-wide recruitment drive for mentors. We have a team of over one hundred mentors that we work with, and since the pandemic hit, we’ve found more individuals across Wales have been reaching out for our support. Many people have found themselves out of work, struggling to get back into the workplace, issues with age discrimination, physical age-related challenges, lack of confidence or having business ideas but not knowing where or how to start. The advice, encouragement and practical help provided by our mentors can be life changing for older people who want to return to work or start their own business. I’m thrilled to make National Mentoring Day our official partner because together we will recruit new mentors to provide the vital support required by over-50s to share their wealth of experience and become economically active.”

Chelsey Baker, the founder of National Mentoring Day, said: “We successfully launched the National Mentoring Day Initiative in the Senedd in 2016. It has only gone from strength to strength since then. Joining forces with PRIME Cymru will help showcase the important work they are doing to support individuals over 50 back into the workplace, as well as providing support and training. Those over 50 are still very much in their prime and are a valuable asset to the Welsh economy.”

PRIME Cymru was founded by HRH The Prince of Wales in 2001, in response to the many letters he was receiving from those aged over 50, who felt like they were on the “scrap heap” facing overwhelming problems securing work because of their age.

His Royal Highness The Prince of Wales said: “I happen to believe that the experience and skills which people build up over a lifetime are an invaluable resource and it is madness for society not to make use of this. Needless to say, I am full of admiration for the tireless efforts of the PRIME Cymru team, along with our heroic mentors. The charity has gone from strength to strength, with hundreds of volunteer mentors who support people into employment, self-employment or volunteering and training positions.”

Mentor Nick Carruthers, a retired environmental coordinator and train driver finds the pace of mentoring fits perfectly alongside his job.

He said: “Mentoring is a complete change to what I do in my job. I want to make sure I really listen to my mentees – sometimes they just want to talk and get things out of their system. But when they want guidance, I can help them with their website, business plans and future aspirations.”

Nick’s mentee, Pepe Aristizabal, 50, previously worked in the hospitality industry during the pandemic and was made redundant. With the help of his mentor, he has now started his own business selling plants in Cardiff. He said: “Being able to bounce my ideas off someone else already running a business has boosted my confidence. My mentor is enthusiastic and approachable, so it’s been a rewarding process because there’s been no critique, just help to achieve.”

Anyone who feels they have skills and experience that others could benefit from and would like to become a mentor with PRIME Cymru and National Mentoring Day is encouraged to get in touch Email: Tel: 01550 721813

Mentors will be given free, accredited training, recognised by the Institute of Enterprise and Entrepreneurs.

For case studies and interviews contact: 07533 820 644