STEPS candidate’s successful venture into self-employment

In a wide world of possibilities, it is Susan Maclean’s ambition to make sure that all of her clients at STEPS Employment Solutions have access to many options when it comes to deciding their future.

One such example is seen in a recent STEPS success story with ex-client Ashley Schofield, a client who decided to start his own business.

“Being able to provide flexible support is vital to this program, to our clients’ needs and sourcing suitable employment and assisting with establishing goals – encouraging clients to progress and move forward,” Susan said.

“This is what sets us apart from others and is unique part of the way that STEPS Employment Solutions Maleny operate.”

Ashley chose to take the brave step to become his own boss around one year ago, starting a small business in the Hinterland area.

Utilising his strong customer services skills, Ashley has continually built his customer base and monthly sales, and now also has his own shopfront in Landsborough.

The success of Ashley’s ventures has not only been monetary however, with Susan also noticing a large difference in Ashley’s demeanor.

“Ashley has become self-sufficient and is definitely on his way to becoming a fully-fledged independent worker,” Susan detailed.

“As Ashley’s case worker, I have observed a boost in his confidence and communication and he appears to be calm, not so anxious – I believe that this is due to his hard work and perseverance with building his business,” Susan added.

While Ashley’s business is flourishing, Ashley is still steadfast in his goals and how he will achieve them.

“In the next year, I want to achieve self-sustainability and maybe employ an additional staff member,” Ashley said.

“Within the next five years, my goal is to become a franchise that is self-sustainable and one that employs more staff.”

Ashley also added that employing someone from STEPS, who was in a similar position to him, would be a first priority.

Having previously felt “undervalued” at previous companies, Ashley strives to provide a “safe and progressive environment” that gives opportunities to candidates who may otherwise have been “overlooked”.

Susan was also quick to emphasise how inclusive STEPS is to all people and all aspirations.

“Anyone who is considering giving STEPS a go can expect individually tailored support, a safe environment to discuss their circumstances and what they want to achieve, they are valued and not judged,” Susan said.

“They can expect a high standard of support and advocacy. Everyone who comes here is treated as the individual that they are,” Susan concluded.

If you or someone you know is looking for work and ongoing employment support, reach out at 1300 078 377.

Above: Ashley Schofield in his Hinterland business

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