Jobseeker’s interview hope

Michael Driver.
Michael Driver.
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A JOBSEEKER who is featuring in a new Hartlepool Mail campaign to help people into employment has been given a boost.

Michael Driver appeared in the Mail on Monday as part of coverage on the town’s worsening unemployment rate.

But not long after buying a copy of the paper, he received a phone call from a training and development company to offer him an interview.

The 20 year old received the call from Workwise Personnel, which is also a recruitment company.

Michael, of Lanark Road, said: “About half an hour after I bought a Mail, I got a phone call saying I had got an interview.

“It was at Workwise on behalf of another company and as an outgoing salesman.”

Speaking ahead of his interview at the Scarborough Street-based Workwise offices yesterday afternoon, Michael admitted: “I have had quite a few interviews and know what to expect.

“But I was a bit nervous in case they asked me a question and I froze up.

“Workwise have never rang me before, so it was a big surprise.”

On Monday, Michael told the Mail how he had not been able to find a full-time job since leaving Hartlepool College of Further Education with a Level 1 qualification in plumbing 18 months ago.

Apart from a month’s temporary placement, Michael’s only work is as a steward on match days at Hartlepool United. He has broadened his search to include bar work, labouring and work in care homes in a desperate bid to get on the jobs ladder.

Michael, who says he must have applied for between 150 and 200 jobs since leaving college, said he was grateful that the Mail is helping him to get work.

He said: “It’s a big plus, it’s putting me out there.

“It is showing that I am actively looking for work.”

Another jobseeker featured in Monday’s coverage was 32-year-old Brian Kitching.

He is a fabricator and fitter by trade who was made redundant from his job with town-based glazing firm QRS last July.

Brian told how he could barely afford to heat his home while surviving on £65-a-week Jobseeker’s Allowance.

But hope is on the horizon as the dad-of-two had an interview to be a bus driver with Stagecoach North East last Thursday.

He said the firm is still interviewing applicants but he hopes to hear whether he has been successful sometime this week.

Brian, from Lancaster Court, said of his involvement with our Work in Progress campaign: “Any help’s a good help.

“At the moment I’m not particularly bothered what I do, I just need some work, it’s a particularly boring life at the moment.”

Graham Lyth, 50, a former printer from the Chester Road area who has been out of work for four years despite sending off around 250 application forms and CVs, is also featured in our campaign.

He said since appearing in the Mail on Monday he had been recognised in the street. But he is still waiting to hear from potential employers.

The Mail’s campaign comes as Hartlepool is one of the country’s unemployment blackspots, with 16 people applying for every town vacancy and 4,451 people in the town’s dole queue.