People facing the threat of losing their jobs across the Western Isles are being urged to make use of a free Scottish Government service to help them take their next steps.

Partnership Action for Continuing Employment (PACE) is the Scottish Government initiative for helping individuals and businesses who are dealing with redundancy.

Delivered locally, it’s available for anyone who is worried about the prospect of redundancy, about to go through the process or has already been made redundant.

It’s a Partnership of 22 organisations, including Skills Development Scotland, Jobcentre Plus, local authorities, Citizens Advice Scotland, colleges and learning providers. This network of local and national knowledge is invaluable in providing all the support you’ll need to help you take the next steps following redundancy.

The PACE Partnership in the Western Isles can provide one-to-one support over the phone to help you understand the redundancy process, as well as your rights and entitlements. PACE can help you update your CV, look and apply for jobs, check what benefits you might be entitled to, or even advice on starting your own business.

Business, Fair Work and Skills Minister Jamie Hepburn said: “I know these are deeply concerning times for many people. Despite the necessary lockdown restrictions, we are working tirelessly to ensure we can continue providing comprehensive support to those who have lost their jobs through the Scottish Government’s PACE initiative.

“If you’ve been made redundant or your job is at risk, I would encourage you to give PACE a call. You can also find out more about the services they offer at redundancyscotland.co.uk.”

Gordon MacDonald, who leads the PACE partnership in the Western Isles said: “Facing redundancy can place a huge amount of stress on an individual and often their family members. The PACE Partnership in the Western Isles is here to support anybody that may already have been made redundant or might be faced with being made redundant, and can offer support and reassurance to ensure you get all the help you need”.

“While we can’t meet anyone face-to-face at the moment, we’re available to chat on the phone to give free, confidential advice and guidance on next steps.

“I’d encourage any individuals, regardless of circumstances, to get in touch.”

Businesses of any size can also contact PACE to get help to support their staff through the redundancy process.

You can find more information on PACE support at www.redundancyscotland.co.uk, call the PACE helpline on 0800 917 8000 to speak to an adviser, or contact your local Skills Development Scotland centre in Stornoway on 01851 708900.