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When Laura* left school without a plan in place, she was referred on to Skills Development Scotland's (SDS) Next Steps programme for support – and she’s now on track to achieve her ambition of a career in childcare. 

Laura’s attendance at school had been low, and after leaving, she did not manage to sustain a place at college or on the Employability Fund programme.  

She had applied for college again to undertake a childcare course but was turned down due to lack of experience. 

Keen to build her confidence, develop her skills and to find a way into her desired career path, Laura made contact with her local SDS centre in Moray. 

Laura signed up to SDS’s Next Steps offer, a programme of intensive careers information, advice and guidance support offered to unemployed young people aged 16 to 18-and-a-half. 

With the support of a work coach and careers adviser, Laura was determined to give college another go. She was supported to develop her career management skills, to upgrade her CV and college application, and encouraged to gain work experience. 

She can now recognise her skills, strengths and qualities, and how all of that can tie into her future career. 

She was referred to an Activity Agreement to gain the childcare experience she needed to reapply for the college course – which has been very successful. 

The structure and frequency of support from SDS has given Laura the focus she needed and allowed her to look at a different way of pursuing her childcare career goals. 

Thanks to the support from SDS and her experience through the Activity Agreement, Laura secured a place on the college course of her choice – and continues to work at a local childcare facility. 

*Name change to protect identity. 

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