Mail campaign makes national news

Stephanie McGovern, Michael Driver at the lock gates, Hartlepool Stephanie McGovern and Michael Driver at Hartlepool Marina lock gates during filming for BBC Breakfast TV

Stephanie McGovern, Michael Driver at the lock gates, Hartlepool Stephanie McGovern and Michael Driver at Hartlepool Marina lock gates during filming for BBC Breakfast TV

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THE Hartlepool Mail’s Work in Progress campaign made national TV when Hartlepool man Michael Driver’s unemployment plight was broadcast earlier today.

Michael appeared on BBC Breakfast with national television reporter Stephanie McGovern interviewing him live from Hartlepool Marina this morning.

The 20 year old praised our Work in Progress Campaign which aims to help Michael and two other jobseekers to find employment.

His appearance came hours before the latest unemployment figures were due out. Last month’s details showed there were 4,451 people in the town claiming Jobseeker’s Allowance.

BBC’s Stephanie asked Michael, of Lanark Road, Hartlepool, about being part of the Mail’s campaign to help get him back to work. He replied: “The Mail has been a fantastic help.

“Ever since I have been on the front of the paper I have had nothing but phone calls from agencies. They have been a great help.”

He also added: “It has been 18-months since I left college with an NVQ in plumbing. In those 18-months it has been dead-end after dead-end applying for jobs and struggling to get interviews.

“I have applied for hundreds of jobs but it is rare that you even get an email back saying that you are not being considered for a position.”

Also interviewed was Katie Schmuecker, an unemployment expert from the Institute of Public Policy Research, who said: “There are 16 jobs for every one vacancy at the Job Centre in Hartlepool.

“We need investment. There is a lot of potential here.”

She added that being without a job for more than 12 months can have a real long-term impact on people.