Bridges Project Team
The Office of the Public Guardian (OPG)’s ground-breaking Bridges BAME development programme came into being in response to a recognition in OPG that, despite a workforce with over 50% from an ethnic minority background, there was a lack of progression for these staff beyond junior grades. Working with MoJ’s Diversity and Inclusion team, OPG put together a project team to create a fresh approach. The programme was set up to act as a trailblazer for further MoJ inclusion activity.
Central to the programme was senior-led group mentoring. Each SCS in OPG committed to mentoring a group of participants over the six months of the programme, while other senior BAME staff also agreed to support as associate mentors. Alongside the content delivered by an external provider and shaped by the project team, these mentoring circles, meeting for half a day per month with their SCS mentor, proved crucial to the programme’s success. Not only did participants benefit from their mentor’s experience, but they also became self-managing groups, helping and supporting each other.
Evaluation from the programme evidences the value participants have gained from it, and over half have since gained promotions or new jobs. Bridges is now being repeated for new cohorts.