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Skills Development Scotland’s (SDS) Next Steps programme has had a huge impact on Alisar, who moved from Syria to Falkirk.

With the support of her advisers she has greatly improved her English and has gained valuable work experience and employability skills.   

Alisar has refugee status and came into the SDS centre with an interpreter and support worker from Falkirk Council. Alisar had only been in Falkirk a few months when initially engaging with SDS. At the time she could not speak a lot of English. 

She was referred on to SDS to participate in the Next Steps programme. Next Steps is aimed at unemployed 16 to 18-and-a-half-year olds – or up to 25 for care experienced young people – and provides intensive careers information, advice and guidance. 

A careers coach and a work coach worked with Alisar to provide career management skills support. Alisar expressed an interest in becoming a pharmacist and enrolled in a college introduction course with Forth Valley College. She also enrolled in ESOL (English as a Second or Other Language) classes in her community.  

"Being with people of my own age and having support from staff gave me the confidence to look at opportunities and try new experiences.”

Since completing her college course, Alisar has completed six weeks work experience with a local pharmacy and is currently volunteering at Forth Valley Royal Hospital.  

Alisar has continued to attend ESOL classes and has been referred from the Next Steps team to the Step-Up programme at Link Living. This programme will allow her to further improve her English, build networks and continue to develop her employability skills. Alisar’s confidence has greatly improved and she no longer needs a translator.  

Alisar says: "I really enjoyed the Generation A course. Before I took part, I was bored and didn't know about Scotland or know many people. It let me see Scotland, meet new friends and build on my English. Being with people of my own age and having support from staff gave me the confidence to look at opportunities and try new experiences.” 

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