One of Scotland's largest colleges has thrown its support behind a ground-breaking scheme to help disadvantaged young people to fulfil their potential.

Glasgow Kelvin College is the latest institution to sign up for a pioneering partnership with MCR Pathways, a scheme which provides mentors for young learners, particularly those with a background in the care system.

The scheme, backed by the Herald, has so far signed up more than 200 volunteers willing to mentor young people and help them find ways into further and higher education and work.

The alliance with Glasgow Kelvin is a natural one for the MCR Pathways scheme, which already works with pupils at six of the ten secondaries in its East End catchment area. The new link-up will see special 'taster' sessions devised for young people to give them brief encounters with work and learning so that they realise the opportunities available. It will also involve college staff coming on board with MRC Pathways as mentors.

Young people taking part will be helped to cope with the social demands of a busy college environment, and the resilience needed to overcome problems, including breaks in learning and attendance.

Iain MacRitchie the founder and chair of MCR Pathways, said: "Colleges are an absolutely essential part of the education and employment pathways, and a critical safety net and springboard for disadvantaged young people who experience disruption in their learning through no fault of their own. Many MCR young people have benefitted greatly from Glasgow Kelvin’s commitment to inclusion, the broadest access and having flexible learning models.

Alan Sherry, Glasgow Kelvin College’s Principal said that the mentoring project was an ideal fit with the college's work to help young people fulfil their potential, but that the college would be unable to fund the mentors provided by the MCR Pathways scheme itself.

He added that the scheme would benefit mentors and employers taking part, by overcoming prejudice about youngsters who are often judged on the strength of their East End postcode. "They will be able to engage with the young people, understand more about their background and come to recognise that our learners have a lot to offer," he said.

One MCR young person and ambassador, Nicole Quinn has completed her third year at Glasgow Kelvin College studying health and social care and now starting an HNC in Healthcare.

She said: "I'm really excited about this partnership. When I left school I had no qualifications and no confidence. McDonald's probably wouldn't have taken me.

"It wasn't just academic help I needed and my attendance in first year was really bad. But the college gave me the opportunity to start from the level I was at and progress to where I am now."