Careers advice for firms and workers hit by redundancy

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AN AGENCY that gives free careers advice to companies and adults has opened its new and bigger regional headquarters in Milton Keynes.

The Next Step service, based in Lloyds Court, off Silbury Boulevard, can help companies making employees unemployed to find new jobs and skills for former members of the workforce.

Next Step can also help companies develop the skills of their employees.

The initial stages of advice are free as the service is taxpayer funded.

The services of Next Step have been taken up by Mercedes-Benz (MB), which has a massive national apprentice training centre in Tongwell.

MB has 350 youngsters on its training programme, with 150 more due to join them later this year.

Tony Hetherington, MB’s technical training manager, said: “We teach technical skills and company values that will stay with a person for life.”

And Helen Taylor, MB’s apprentice programme operations manager added that trainees are given advice on personal attributes like selling themselves at interview.

Next Step was officially opened on February 18. Its centre will deal with 2,300 calls each week. It also has a website and face-to-face advisors to pass on advice.

Milton Keynes South MP Iain Stewart attended the office opening party and give his support. He said: “Next Step plays an invaluable role in our modern economy, being helpful to people in the rough seas.”

And he joked: “I might have to type MP into the website... I might be needing it depending on the result of the next election!”

Next Step, a service run by Babcock Enterprises, was begin in August last year and officially launched at stadium:mk in September.

Contact Next Step by phoning 0800 100 900 or visit the website https://nextstep.direct.gov.uk

> See our video profile of the Next Step office opening, from March 31, at www.miltonkeynes.co.uk/news.business