Youth Mentorship for Tourism Program

This program is no longer accepting applications. New dates will be posted when the next intake begins. .

Program Guidelines

Industry, Tourism and Investment (ITI) recognizes the value of mentoring in ensuring competent future leadership of the tourism industry. The Youth Mentorship for Tourism Program aims to provide students and/or young professionals interested in working in any area of the Tourism Industry the opportunity to work with experienced industry professionals (mentors) who are willing to share their expertise and knowledge. The Program will match Northwest Territories (NWT) students and/or young professionals with an appropriate experienced professional in a specific area (based on the mentee’s interest), which may lead to employment at the mentor’s place of business.

Goals of the Youth Mentorship For Tourism Program

The goals of the program are to:

  • Provide opportunities for students interested in tourism to meet and observe experienced professionals in a given tourism sector at work.
  • Provide opportunities for youth to learn and be mentored by potential employers in tourism for the purpose of direct employment.
  • Provide the resources to interested tourism businesses willing to mentor students and/or young professionals interested in their sector of tourism for the purpose of employment.
  • Provide students and/or young professionals the opportunity to network with more experienced professionals in the different sectors of the tourism industry.

Program Tourism Definition

For the purpose of this Program, the definition of a tourism business is a business that relies on travellers for a significant portion of its income. For the purpose of this fund, the aviation industry is excluded from this definition of tourism.

Program Priority Areas

The following areas are the priorities of the Program:

  • Hospitality Services
  • Tourism Operations Management
    • Fishing Lodge Operations
    • Outdoor Adventure Operations
    • Community Tourism Development, Planning and Operation
  • Tourism Product Packaging and Pricing
  • Parks Operations and Management
  • Interpretive Skills and Programming

Benefits of the Program

  • Networking opportunities;
  • Gaining employability skills for the industry;
  • Learning about or gaining advanced knowledge of the tourism structure;
  • Gaining professional development experience;
  • Developing a professional relationship with someone who:
    • Is a source of knowledge for projects, events, etc.;
    • Can provide professional guidance (i.e. job searches, resume writing, interview preparation);
    • Is a role model within the industry; and
  • Opportunity for long-term guidance.

Program Structure

In addition to getting mentees acquainted with the different aspects of the tourism industry, the Program also aims to encourage, where possible, employment at the place of business of the mentors. As such, there are two program streams.

Stream 1: Industry Awareness

This stream aims to provide opportunities for students and young professionals to gain knowledge and experience in the industry for a period of no less than three months. This process will involve visits by mentees to their mentor’s place of business.

Stream 1 is designed for mentees seeking more knowledge and experience in the industry, but who may already be employed, still in school and/or looking to be employed somewhere other than at the place of business of the mentor. For this stream, mentors will receive an honourarium as per the Government of the Northwest Territories’ (GNWT)
honourarium policy, up to a maximum of $2,500, while mentees will receive $1,250 for the duration of the Program, which will be no less than three months and not exceeding five months.

Stream 2: Path to Employment

The aim of stream 2 is to provide an opportunity for the mentees to learn and acquire specific skills in an area of their choice with the goal of employment at the mentor’s place of business.

Stream 2, also known as path-to-employment stream, is aimed at students and young professionals willing to be mentored towards employment at the mentor’s place of business. Mentors for this stream will be NWT businesses in the tourism sector, and will receive a maximum of $6,000 to cover the cost of taking on the mentee for a period of no less than three months and not exceeding five months. Mentees could be paid a stipend from the $6,000 awarded to the mentor; however, they will still be eligible to receive $1,250 (maximum) from the GNWT as mentees under the Program.

Mentee Requirements

To be eligible for the Program a person needs to meet the following criteria:

  • Must be a resident of the Northwest Territories;
  • Must be less than 18 years old, but no younger than 14;
  • If older than 18, must be able to show proof of employment in tourism to qualify as a young professional; and
  • If older than 18, and not a young professional, must provide a motivation letter for admission into the Program. The motivation letter should address why the applicant wants to be mentored, how the mentorship will help them and what they plan to do after the mentorship.

Mentor Requirements

Mentors will have to meet the following criteria to be considered for the program:

  • Should be experienced successful tourism industry professionals;
  • Must have worked in the tourism industry for at least five years;
  • Willing to make time available for their mentees and commit to meet with their “protégé” frequently during the mentorship process;
  • Understand the skills and tools required to be a mentor;
  • Be open to further developing their mentoring skills;
  • Understand the legal and ethical requirements of mentoring;
  • Be able to ensure mentees understand what they can expect from the mentoring process;
  • Be able to create an environment in which mentees will feel at ease;
  • Be able to communicate effectively with mentees;
  • Be able to help mentees identify their real needs and priorities;
  • Be able to encourage mentees to develop the confidence, understanding and skills to meet their personal and business objectives; and
  • Be able to help mentees manage a program of activity that develops their confidence, understanding and skills.

Interested mentors will be required to fill out a registration form, and submit a resume, to become a Tourism Youth Mentor. The selection and approval of mentors will be completed in a timely manner by ITI.

Approved mentors, if not GNWT or GNWT Agency employees, will be paid an honourarium as indicated in the GNWT Financial Administration Manual. Once the process is completed, the mentor will be expected to provide a written evaluation as per the agreed evaluation format.

Program Ethics

  • Mentors and mentees must agree to the terms outlined by ITI before the start of the process.
  • Mentors and mentees will jointly, and in confidence, decide on what issues to address during the course of the relationship, subject to the program guidelines.
  • Respect should be given to the privacy and confidentiality of mentor and mentee information.

General Funding Requirements for Stream 1 and 2

  • The duration of the Program (stream 1 and 2) shall be no less than three months and no longer than five months.
  • All mentees under the Program (stream 1 and 2) will receive a grant of $1,250 upon completion of the mentorship process and submission of required reporting.
  • For stream 1, mentors who are not GNWT employees will be paid an honourarium as per the GNWT Financial Administration Manual, up to a maximum of $2,500, upon completion of the mentorship process and submission of required reporting.
  • For stream 2, mentors shall receive a maximum of $6,000 to cover costs incurred in taking a mentee under the path-to-employment stream. Mentors will be paid by way of a contribution agreement, upon approval of the process by the director of Tourism and Parks. The $6,000 grant to the mentor (mentoring business) can also be used by the mentor at his/her discretion for providing a stipend to the mentee for the duration of the mentoring process.
  • All allocations are subject to fund availability.

Exceptions and Special Circumstances

  • Under special circumstances, determined at the discretion of the director of Tourism and Parks, the grant to mentees may exceed the stipulated $1,250. This will only be in cases where the mentee has to travel to the place of business of the mentor, either under stream 1 or 2. The exceptional circumstances cost may not exceed $6,000 and shall be only for the following eligible costs: airfare, accommodations, meals and ground transportation.

Reporting Requirements

  • Payment under stream 1, for both mentor honourarium and mentee grant, is on a reimbursement basis upon submission of signed copies of the final mentoring report and logs of the mentoring process from both the mentee and mentor.
  • Successful applicants under stream 2 (path-to-employment) mentorship process will be required to direct their potential mentors to submit detailed estimates of anticipated costs, up to a maximum of $6,000, at which time the mentor will be paid through a contribution agreement.
  • Stream 2 mentees will be paid the mentee grant of $1,250 upon submission of final mentoring reports and logs at the end of the process.