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Skills Development Scotland’s (SDS) Next Steps offer has helped Midlothian teen overcome barriers including mental health, homelessness and lack of qualifications to gain his first job. 

Coming from a difficult background, Midlothian native Robert had struggled throughout school.  

Robert has had social work involvement from a young age and was frequently mentioned at 12+ and 16+ meetings in school. He attended CAMHS (Child Adolescent Mental Health Services) and PAVE (Programme of Alternative Vocational Education) during his time at school and had low attendance throughout secondary school.  

After leaving school with no qualifications in Christmas 2013, Robert was kicked out of his house and was placed on an Activity Agreement between September 2014 and September 2015. Around this time, Robert was also charged with a serious offence, however, the charges were eventually dropped.  

In May 2018 Robert decided to attend a careers drop-in service offered by SDS. He decided to get involved with the Next Steps service, which provides intensive careers information, advice and guidance for unemployed young people aged 16 to 18-and-a-half. 

Roberts’ careers adviser supported him to construct a CV and contacted Venture Trust to arrange for him to attend a wilderness trek.  

Between May 2018 and August 2018 Robert met with his careers adviser numerous times and together they completed three career management skill plans. Following this Robert began circulating his CV and in August he obtained employment at Beaton’s Builders Supplies as well as in a local kitchen.  

Speaking to his careers adviser, Andrew, Robert says: “You helped me get a job by raising my confidence and helping me with my CV.”  



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