Mentoring scheme launched to nurture West Midlands talent

New initiative allows experienced professionals to help new starters.

Birmingham-based networking group PA Forum has launched a mentoring scheme for personal and executive assistants across the West Midlands to help nurture the next generation of talent.

The free initiative, which has already attracted members from the likes of PwC, Shoosmiths and Topps Tiles, provides a platform for experienced PAs and EAs to give back to their community, by sharing their knowledge and expertise to help others within the profession develop and hone their skills.

PA Forum founder, Daniel Skermer (pictured), developed the scheme as a way of improving engagement within the industry after noticing many Forum members were feeling isolated during the COVID-19 pandemic. The initiative has already received significant interest, with 12 mentors and mentees matched in the first two weeks since it was launched.

Founded in 2016 and boasting a community of over 800 assistants, PA Forum has led the way in offering learning and development opportunities for PAs and EAs across the West Midlands, as well as recognising the achievements and successes of the industry’s top talent through its West Midlands PA Awards event which takes place every year.

Daniel Skermer said: “There are so many experienced PAs and EAs of all levels and sectors in the West Midlands, and we wanted to provide our members with a platform for sharing their expertise with others and supporting them to develop their careers. This seemed like the perfect opportunity for PA Forum members to support one another during these stressful times and I hope it will inspire other PA networks to offer similar programmes to their members in other regions.

“I was so delighted to work closely with Tracy Whitehouse, EA at Orbit Homes and PA Forum committee member, to launch the initiative. I just knew she would be a great pillar of support to help us put together this exciting programme.”

Tracy Whitehouse added: “For me, being a mentor is an opportunity to support other admins as they navigate their way through their career path to success. It’s about sharing past experiences, good and bad, so that others can learn from them without the need to make the same mistakes that I may have made along the way.

“I have been lucky enough to have fantastic mentors throughout my career, both formal and informal and this is my way of reciprocating.”

The PA Forum is hosting an online learning and development conference on 29th September. For more information about the conference and the PA Forum mentoring scheme contact [email protected]