Renfrewshire Council

Case study: Paisley mum thanks Invest in Renfrewshire for helping her find a job after raising her family

A mum-of-two says she feels more confident after Invest in Renfrewshire helped her find a job in the retail sector.

Sharon Lauchlan, from Paisley, had no work experience after raising her children when she first approached Invest in March 2018.

Invest, which is working to tackle unemployment in Renfrewshire and boost the local economy, helped Sharon create a CV and update her IT skills, signing her up for a weekly class where she received an IT qualification in April 2018.

Using her new skills, Sharon started attending job search groups where she received updates on current vacancies and support to apply for jobs and send out her CV to potential employers.

She was then referred to the Retail Sector Based Work Academy in September 2018, where she received work experience at The InCube Shop and gained a qualification in Customer Service and Retail Skills and Values.

Sharon said: "I approached Invest because I had no work experience and, being a single parent, I felt they would be the best people to help me find a job.

"My confidence has definitely improved since working with them. I now feel able to go into places and hand in my CV speculatively for jobs."

After securing a paid traineeship through Invest in February 2019, Sharon, who was receiving Jobseekers Allowance, Child Tax Credits, Child Benefit, Housing Benefit and a Council Tax Reduction, was referred to Advice Works where an advisor helped her inform HMRC of her new circumstances and apply for Working Tax Credits, leaving her £76 a week better off.

The mum is now working at Cotton Traders and says the support she received from Invest helped her get the job.

She added: "I was a single parent who wanted to get a job in retail after raising my children when I went to Invest. I've now got a job as a Team trader at Cotton Traders. I got my job as a direct result of working with Invest, I wouldn't be here without their help and support."

Gerry Regan, who was long-term unemployed, also approached Invest after struggling to find a job that met his childcare needs.

He registered with Working Matters where he received support to improve his confidence and skills before securing a place on the council's Employability Fund Stage 4 catering programme.  During his placement, Gerry received training as well as application and interview support, gaining the skills he needed to secure a job as a Catering Assistant with the council.

He said: "This opportunity has raised my self-esteem and given me my confidence back.

"I am back to my old self and I would like to thank my advisors and the employability fund team for their help and support. My standard of living has been raised and I am proud that my sons now see me going to work every day."

Published: 14 June 2019