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It was the ambition for a career in social work and caring services that first led Latasha Mein to Skills Development Scotland’s (SDS) careers services.

Latasha got in touch with her SDS careers adviser at Anderson High School in Lerwick, Scott Summers, as she started to think about leaving school.

“I knew I wanted to go into social work as a career but had lots of questions about what my options would be after leaving school, as well as the subject choices I was making while I was in school.

“I was excited going in to that first meeting as I knew I was going to get answers and get going on my career journey.”

SDS delivers Scotland’s careers service, with careers advisers in every state secondary school in Scotland, its network of careers centres, and partner and community premises.

All of the professionally qualified careers advisers work with customers to develop career management skills, enabling people to understand who they are and what they’re good at, explore what they want to work towards and who can help them take those steps.

Scott said: “At their heart career management skills are about happiness.

“If you build your career management skills you will be able to make and take ongoing career decisions that are right for you.

“That will allow you to realise your potential and be engaged in the world of work, making you more fulfilled, so making you happier.”

19-year-old Latasha said: “Scott was really great at supporting me to take practical steps, starting with thinking about my strengths and what I liked to do, and how that might play into a future career.

“For example, he encouraged me to contact a social worker to talk about what the job was like day to day, as well as supporting me with getting in touch with a college to look at course options for when I left school.”

When Latasha left school, she studied the NC Social Sciences course at Shetland College UHI as her first step towards her career goals. She was able to work with careers advisers at SDS’s Lerwick careers centre while at college and looking for her next opportunity.

“Scott was really great at supporting me to take practical steps, starting with thinking about my strengths and what I liked to do, and how that might play into a future career."

Latasha Mein

Scott said: “Careers advisers who’re working in schools link closely with our colleagues who’re in local centres to ensure that those leaving school know they can continue to access the support they need.

“But our support isn’t just for young people, no matter your age or what stage you’re at in your career, SDS careers advisers are here to help.”

Latasha has now taken up a Modern Apprenticeship in Business & Administration with Shetland Island’s Council’s Community Health and Social Care team, gaining vital skills and experience in the social care sector.

A Modern Apprenticeship means learning on the job, getting experience while working towards a qualification.

She said: “I wouldn’t be in the apprenticeship without the help from Scott and the SDS careers team.

“I’m getting to work with clients from a wide range of age groups, with lots of different needs, so it’s a great way to build up my skills for working in the social care sector.

“Working with SDS has helped me to become more confident and to make informed decisions about what to do next to further my career.”

Scott agrees that Latasha’s made big changes in the time they’ve worked together.

He said: “Latasha was always proactive in seeking out support when she knew she needed it, and really great at reflecting on what she could do to get closer to her career goals.

“In the time we’ve worked with her I’ve seen her grow her skills and confidence.”

Latasha said: “I also think what sticks with me from working with Scott and the careers team at SDS is that they helped me find answers and information I didn’t know I was looking for or expecting to find.

"From each appointment I always got more information than I intended to which in turn meant I could make even better decisions.

“My Career Development Plan was a practical help as it summed up our appointments and gave me ownership over my next steps, to drive forward with my plans.”

She says Scotland’s careers website, My World of Work, was also a useful support.

“Having My World of Work to use between appointments was really valuable.

“It has really full job descriptions when you’re researching possible careers that help you to see if it’s stuff you would like or not, and I found the strengths quiz really useful.

“I would recommend using SDS for support and advice, I learned something new in every careers meeting.”

 

 

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