Important starting point; Libraries across Scotland are helping people on the path to anew career, writes KAREN STEWART.
NEW Career Information Points within Scotland's libraries look set to help thousands of Scots plan for the future.
The points - which are available in 100 libraries across the country - provide free access to information and resources that could help people improve their current job situation.
Every point provides computerised guidance programmes, careers databases and online help through the Careers Scotland website as well as an extensive range of published materials. And it's hoped the new points will encourage more Scots to think about what they can do to improve their career prospects.
Janice Ewart, from Careers I Scotland, said: "The Career Information Points provide information on a wide range of I careers and courses, whether people are thinking of changing careers, upgrading their skills, getting back into the job market or simply making the most of their' current situation.
"All Careers Scotland services are free and confidential and I would encourage people to drop into their nearest participating library.
"We're providing career planning support to help people secure the jobs of tomorrow and by working in partnership with the Scottish Library and Information Council and local authorities we are able to extend our reach in the community. We aim to make a difference by equipping people of all ages with the knowledge and skills they need to make realistic careers decisions throughout their lives."
In total, 27 local authorities have been involved in the Careers Scotland initiative - which is part of the Scottish Enterprise Network. Library staff have also been trained up for the venture, and will be able to help people use the points and find out more information.
Christine May, MSP and chair of the SLIC, added: "This initiative provides an exciting opportunity for public libraries, Careers Scotland and SLIC to strengthen their local partnerships.
"Using traditional, print-based resources along with the internet, career information points will improve access to information available from public libraries in the heart of the community."
For more information on the new Career Information Points, visit www.careerspoint.info
'We're providing career planning support to help people secure the jobs of tomorrow'
POINTING THE WAY: Jane Campbell, of Careers Scotland, with Hazel Lauder, of SLIC