Mum urges others to take the next step

A Nottinghamshire mum who has secured a permanent job as a purchase ledger clerk is urging other local people to get free careers advice from Next Step, as it celebrates its first anniversary of helping people improve their working lives.

Lauren Buchanan, 21, who lives in Keyworth with her young son Xavier, secured the role after using the Next Steps service to improve her CV and run through mock interviews.

She is just one of 20,200 people in Nottinghamshire who have been helped by the careers service in its first year.

Lauren wanted to leave her full time role and find part time work after her son Xavier was born on Christmas Day in 2009, said:

“It was difficult leaving a job that I loved, but I wanted to spend more time with my son instead of putting him in full-time childcare. I knew I had skills that could be transferred into other roles – I just couldn’t get a foot in the door.”

She was introduced to an adviser at Next Step, who suggested some changes to her CV and set up a couple of mock interviews. The skills she learnt were used a few months later in an interview for a purchase ledger role at Hyperama cash and carry wholesaler in Nottingham, where she now works.

In her new role Lauren processes orders, deals with buyers and arranges deliveries, working Monday to Friday from 10am until 3pm, leaving her plenty of time at home to spend with her son.

Lauren continued: “I can take Xavier to nursery on the way to work and collect him on my way home, giving us plenty of time together as a family. I have a job that utilises my skills, fits with my home life and I enjoy. Finding this role and getting offered the job is down to the support I got from Next Step – brushing up on my CV and interview technique has made a huge difference to my life.”

Nottingham Next Step adviser Shazia Ali, said:

“In difficult economic times people need to take all the help they can get to secure a job and we are offering a free service to help people on their way.

“This last year I have been able to help a number of people secure work and training – from people that have been made redundant to those like Lauren who are looking to create a better work-life balance. Lauren was great to work with and support. She had a very positive attitude towards finding work and with regular one-to-one support she was able to achieve her goals.

“It’s fantastic that we have been able to support more than 20,000 adults in Nottinghamshire over the last year, but we want even more people to use our services.”

To find out more visit direct.gov.uk/nextstep, call freephone 0800 100 900, 8am – 10pm, seven days a week to speak to an adviser or to arrange a face-to-face appointment in your area