Jobseekers tell how hard it is to find work

(left to right) Michael Driver, Carl Crossman and Brian Kitching. Picture by FRANK REID
(left to right) Michael Driver, Carl Crossman and Brian Kitching. Picture by FRANK REID

JOBSEEKERS have revealed how hard it is to find work.

Brian Kitching and Michael Driver are users of the Access to Employment project at the Wharton Trust, a Hartlepool-based community centre and charity.

Brian, who turns 32 tomorrow, has been out of work since last June, when his employer, glazing firm QRS, based on the town’s Queen’s Meadow Industrial Estate, went into receivership.

Since then, Brian, who has been a fabricator and fitter for 16 years, says he has applied for at least 30 jobs – but to no avail.

As well as looking for similar roles across the region, he has even applied to be a bus driver with Stagecoach North East.

The dad of Jake, eight, and five-year-old Fynn, from Lancaster Court, said: “I don’t think there’s enough jobs in the industry – it’s every man for himself, even companies are fighting for work.

“The lack of offers feels degrading.”

Lanark Road resident Michael Driver, 20, left Hartlepool College of Further Education with a Level 1 NVQ in plumbing.

But apart from a month’s temporary placement, he is still looking for work.

The former Manor College of Technology student said: “I’ve applied for hundreds of jobs all over the country.

“If you limit yourself you are not going to get work.”

Michael, who has started to look for bar work as a way of getting his foot on the employment ladder, added that he does not put his age on his applications to stop potential employers being put off by his lack of experience.

The Wharton Trust’s Access to Employment co-ordinator Carl Crossman, who took on the role after being made redundant from a Peterlee-based IT firm, said he was not surprised by the latest unemployment figures as “the Dyke House ward where we are based is one of the most deprived wards in the country”.

“We had 310 people registered on the project from April 2010 to March last year.

“We have only three months left to the end of this year and we already have 280 registered.”