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Finding a new way forward

After 23 years with her employer, Audrey Lawson was faced with redundancy. She shared with us how PACE supported her through this upheaval.

A bolt from the blue

Audrey Lawson, a 48-year-old from Airdrie, had years of service to Cumbernauld-based firm OKI under her belt when closure plans were announced in August 2018.

She explained the sense of shock she felt. “We didn’t see it coming,” she said. “It came out of the blue so there was disbelief at first. You couldn’t believe that after working somewhere for 23 years, you weren’t going to work there any more. It was daunting.”

The Scottish Government’s initiative for redundancy, Partnership Action for Continuing Employment (PACE), stepped in to provide the staff with support. Skills Development Scotland (SDS) delivers PACE with partners including JobCentre Plus, local authorities, and Citizens Advice Scotland.

Positive steps

Audrey said: “I first heard of PACE at workshops on CV writing and preparing for an interview.

“You hear a lot of horror stories about job hunting so we all wanted to be as prepared as possible. The careers advisers gave us the Positive Steps book which contained a lot of information.”

SDS careers adviser Glenn Manchip supported Audrey in moving forward.

She said: “Writing a CV is very different to the way it was the last time I did it 23 years ago, but Glenn was fantastic. He helped me with the language I was using and the best ways to get my message across.

“Getting that service from PACE was vital. The help around preparing for an interview and how to overcome nerves was also really helpful.”

A new start

Audrey explained how PACE played a role her securing a new job, at care provider Cornerstone. “There was a PACE jobs fair held on site and there were around 30 employers there,” she said. “Some of those employers were in the care industry, and I’ve got experience as a carer for my mother-in-law who lives with us.

“In the care sector you’ve got the opportunity to build your own hours, which suits me, and Cornerstone have been very helpful in that respect.”

Now, Audrey is vocal in suggesting the PACE service for others facing redundancy.

She said: “There’s no doubt that the support from PACE has been important in me getting a new job.

“I’d definitely recommend to other people facing redundancy that they make use of PACE. The help that is available is invaluable.

“I’ve never been out of work in my whole life and that’s why I’m excited about having this opportunity. After 23 years in one job it’s been great to have a fresh challenge. It’s come at just the right time and it’s been really exciting.”

Get redundancy support from PACE

If you’re an employer faced with implementing redundancies, or are experiencing redundancy yourself, PACE can help you and your staff move on. You can access PACE services in three different ways: