Paul tells us his story:
‘I live at home with mum and dad because I have been out of work for 3 years; my background is working as a purchase ledger clerk in numerous small local businesses who all had to close down. The last one I worked at was Music Zone. I am very shy and awkward and I am better off in a small office where I don’t have to interact as much.
I am applying for junior or administrative positions because I have been out of work for a while, I feel 37 is quite old and this could be why I can’t get a job as a purchase ledger. You have to lower your expectations, don’t you?
The jobcentre organised a course where I just sat at a table. The course was overbooked and they just didn’t have the time to work with everybody.
I did some volunteering at the Heart Foundation filling envelopes. I really enjoyed this. I was sitting upstairs in a room. I also volunteered for 3 month in Wythenshawe. I even interacted with people and stayed on for an extra 3 month/5 days a week because I really enjoyed it. Unfortunately, the jobcentre felt it was keeping me from looking for work and I had to stop.
I am expected to apply for 5/6 jobs per day, 5 days a week. I struggle doing this. I come to my local library 4 days a week but come Thursday there are no new jobs. The jobcentre is encouraging me to widen my search to other offers but I feel like I am setting myself up to fail.
I attended the Modern Employability Skills Course at college and found it helpful. I was able to rewrite my cover letter for applications.’
Paul mentions that there is no opportunity to search for jobs at the jobcentre anymore. He is in the 3rd floor and they have moved the computers from there.
This story was written up as part of the Stockport Community Insight programme.