The Apprentice Queue would be a place for Padawans to express what they like to contribute to Drupal and so define a personal learning path. After an inquiry between potential mentors (Jedi masters) and the Padawan, a mentor may assign her/him-selves to the issue, thereby indicating mentoring is happening. After the assignment we expect mentor and Padawan to find their own proper form of communication.
Basically this could be a "quick win" as many of the functionalities already exist with the issue queue. We should redefine the terms a bit, the issue queue is currently not so useful to mediate people. Do we run into trouble if we try to do this?
I would suggest having a setup of the Apprentice Queue in the sandbox to figure out what works and what doesn't. If this seems a good approach, give me some time to make a demo. If you like to help out creating the demo, let me know. If you see issues with this approach, please discuss them here so we don't spend time creating functionalities that won't get implemented anyway.