Bristol students win 'prestigious' design innovation award


By Maddy Russell, News Editor

Their app ‘Mentor Me’ links employers of parents looking to take leave with graduates in need of work experience.

A team of students from the University of Bristol’s Centre for Innovation and Entrepreneurship have won an award from the Royal Society for the encouragement of Arts, Manufactures and Commerce for their design of an app to encourage parental leave.

The team of three students – Frank Marvin, Riley Nicholas and Hamza Qureshi took part in a competition to design a system, service or campaign to encourage parental leave.

Their app ‘Mentor Me’ aims to link employers of parents hoping to take leave with graduates in need of work experience. Graduates are trained during a period of mentorship by the parent and temporarily replace them whilst they take a period of leave.

When explaining the logic behind the app, the students said: 'Currently, less than two per cent of eligible parents within the UK are taking shared parental leave.

'Through our research, we found that parents in small firms feel uncomfortable taking leave knowing they’ll be letting down their colleagues and employers in their absence.

‘We wanted [our app] to solve two societal issues with one solution. Firstly, we enabled parents to take shared parental leave by reducing disruption to employers, therefore making them more likely to encourage its usage. And secondly by providing an opportunity for graduates to gain quality work experience’

Previous winners of the award also include Sir Jony Ive, Chief Design Officer of Apple and Bill Moggridge, designer of the first laptop.

Featured Image Credit: @theRSAorg / The RSA

Would you use an app like 'Mentor Me' to find work experience?

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