Becoming a Mentor: Frequently Asked Questions

Frequently Asked Questions:

How much time does an apprenticeship take?

The time can vary.  Youth attending high school usually spend between 2 and 8 hours per week at their apprenticeship site. After school or weekends are popular times to work at an apprenticeship site.  Young adults who are out of school usually spend 10-20 hours per week apprenticing.  These apprentices attend their apprenticeship during the standard work day depending on the business’s hours.  The Learning Web Coordinator will help you and your apprentice agree on a schedule but you both will need to make a solid schedule so that you know when to expect to see each other.

How long does an apprenticeship last?

It can last from 2 months to 2 years or more…or anywhere in between.  You and your apprentice decide how long to apprentice and the Learning Web Coordinator will help you agree on a time frame.

What can I expect from my Learning Web Coordinator?

We try to arrange an apprenticeship that works out for both mentor and apprentice. Learning Web Coordinators orient and support mentors on an individual basis, and monitor sites regularly.  Mentors receive individual coaching and support as the need arises or if requested by the mentor.  There are no mandatory group meetings.  The Coordinators will make contact in-person at the worksite or via the phone or email at times that are mutually convenient.

We ask that you contact your Learning Web Coordinator to discuss any issues regarding the apprenticeship.  The Coordinator will quickly address and resolve the issues. If that isn’t possible, the apprenticeship is ended in a way that allows all parties to feel respected.  If it’s a case of the youth deciding that they aren’t interested in the field of work, we feel it is just as valuable for a youth to find out what they don’t like as it is to find out what they do like.  The learning experience that results from problems at the apprenticeship can be positive, life lessons for a young person.

Does my apprentice get to do real work at the apprenticeship?

Yes, an apprenticeship isn’t just sitting and watching.  You will teach skills so that your apprentice can help with real work. Sometimes, depending on your apprentice’s age and the type of work that is being explored, there may be labor laws that prevent your apprentice from doing some tasks.  The Learning Web Coordinator will help you and your apprentice decide what work will be done.

What about insurance?

The Learning Web maintains a private group insurance policy through which each apprentice has some coverage against physical injuries or disability, at no cost to the mentor.  We require the apprentice’s parent/caregiver (or in the case of independent young adults, the apprentice’s signature) to sign a form releasing the mentor and The Learning Web from liability in the event of an accident.  We also talk about safety precautions with apprentices and mentors and expect mentors to incorporate safety training as appropriate to the field.

How does transportation work?

The Learning Web Coordinator will provide transportation to and from a tour site.  Usually the Learning Web Coordinator meets the youth at school or in the community and takes them home after the tour. In-school youth and their parents are responsible for arranging transportation to and from the apprenticeship while out-of-school young adults arrange their own transportation.  The Learning Web Coordinator assists apprentices in investigating transportation options such as bus service.  The Coordinator will provide transportation to the first meeting with a possible mentor.  Once the apprenticeship begins, the apprentice is responsible for transportation.  If transportation becomes a  problem, it is important to let the Coordinator know so that the issue can be resolved.

Can a youth do a tour or start an apprenticeship anytime?

Yes,  our services are year-around and not tied to the school cycle.

How do I sign up?

Give us a call at 607-275-0122 or email us.  A Learning Web Coordinator will contact you to set up a time to meet and talk about volunteering.  We ask mentors to complete a brief Mentor Application and to submit 3 personal references.

Application to Be a Learning Web Mentor