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Stirling teen Calum has gone from feeling lost after leaving school to landing an exciting Modern Apprenticeship opportunity after getting support from Skills Development Scotland's (SDS) Next Steps offer. 

Calum left school ahead of the winter break in 2017. He quickly got signed up to an Employability Fund programme with Triage, which supports young people towards employment through a number of local training programmes. However, he failed to secure a job at the end of the programme.

He was feeling unmotivated, and unsure of what to do next. Calum was invited along to meet with SDS at an outreach session offered at the Mayfield Library, which helps young people access SDS services in a more familiar environment. 

Calum turned up on the day, and work coach Lesley offered him support with his job search. He applied for some Modern Apprenticeship vacancies with Stirling Council, and spoke with Lesley about what else SDS could offer. 

After a few weeks of attending the library sessions, Calum felt comfortable enough to call into the SDS centre in Stirling. He got started on the Next Steps programme, which is aimed at unemployed young people aged 16 to 18-and-a-half. The programme offers intensive careers information, advice and guidance to those who need it most. 

At regular appointments, Calum spoke with Lesley about interview techniques, got help with updating his CV and developed his career management skills. 

While filling out application forms, Calum started to recognise his skills and experience, and Lesley coached him to be able to highlight these skills on his application form. 

Calum was invited to interview for a Modern Apprenticeship role with the council and went along feeling much more confident and prepared. 

He has now secured a Modern Apprenticeship with Stirling Council Roads Department. 

Calum said that without the support he received from Lesley and the team at SDS, he wouldn’t be where he is now – and that his new job has changed his life. 

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