Young worker Amy Farrow has landed her first full time job in three years after applying for over 1,200 posts without success.
Amy, who is 24, was one of hundreds of the town’s unemployed young people and wrote off for up to 40 jobs a week for months until she was finally offered a job at McDonald’s at Hartlepool Marina.
This is the best job I’ve had and it’s made a huge difference to my life.Amy Farrow
She says the job has given her back her self respect and allowed her to move into her own home and go on holiday for the first time in years.
Amy, of Bakers Mead, Hartlepool, said: “It is miles better now that I am working, I just feel more important.”
After leaving Hartlepool College of Further Education, where she studied construction, Amy had short spells working in a cafe and shop.
She also worked as a volunteer in a charity shop and had an apprenticeship at a restaurant before it changed owners and her hours were dramatically reduced.
In between stints in work, Amy applied for hundreds of jobs for bar work, in retail and waitressing.
She said: “I used to go on all the job sites and walk around every day handing my CV out. It was hard.
“Sometimes the people I was applying to didn’t even get back in touch. I had quite a few interviews but wasn’t successful. I was only getting £110 a fortnight so it was quite hard to live on.”
Latest figures show Hartlepool has 455 people aged 16-24 who are out of work – a rate twice the national average.
Amy was helped in her search by organisation Triage Central, which put her through courses to boost her CV and help to guide her through job interviews.
She said: “This is the best job I’ve had and it’s made a huge difference to my life.
“I’m meeting loads of new people and now I’m getting a full wage I’m able to move into my own house.”