Do you enjoy disputes and a good argument? If so a career in mediation could be right up your street. If you have tried to resolve an argument between children, family members or even spouses then you have mediated a dispute. You may be a seasoned mediator without knowing it.
This article focuses on a career in civil mediation and the skills required qualifying as a mediator.
Mediators form part of the familiar landscape of divorces and political life – witness the efforts made by Tony Blair and his government to resolve the historical religious difficulties and the shuttle diplomacy of American mediators in the political and religious disputes in the Middle East.
However new opportunities have now arisen in the UK where the Government and the Courts have fully endorsed mediation as their preferred way of resolving disputes before they go to an expensive trial.
Market Size and Trends
There are countless disputes between individuals and businesses in the UK. The larger companies will provide annual budgets for litigation expenditure. There are over 250,000 cases going through the UK Courts at any time.
There are also disputes in all walks of life including disputes between companies, disputes in the National Health Service (which costs millions of pounds per year in wasted costs and productivity), disputes within and between companies, societies, clubs (especially golf clubs !), between manufacturers and suppliers, shops and consumers, and between friends and neighbours. These are all disputes which need resolving and a mediator’s job is to help the parties resolve the disputes wherever they occur.
There are no formal qualifications for anyone to become a mediator but there are some recognised training courses for mediators who want to specialise in resolving disputes. Except with divorce work, familiarity with the subject of the dispute is not required. Theoretically a bin man can mediate the dispute of an astronaut, and vice versa.
There are a small number of recognised mediators who handle a high percentage of the high value Court cases but there are opportunities for new mediators who are willing to work hard and network effectively.