JOBSEEKER Graham Lyth says he has sent around 250 application forms and CVs off since he lost his job.
But the 50-year-old adds he can count on one hand the number of replies he has had.
Graham, from the Chester Road area of Hartlepool, said: “Last week, in total, I sent six off.
“I sometimes send more, but I have never had any replies for most.”
He left his job with a printing firm four years ago and apart from temporary stock-taking work he has not managed to find permanent employment.
The time-served print machine operator, who has 25 years of experience, said: “It could be my age.
“Younger people are going to get a lower rate of pay.”
Since being out of work, he has not been able to afford even simple pleasures.
“I don’t go out and buy my CDs, I do like my music,” he said. “Thankfully I never was a big drinker and never smoked so I am not missing out there.”
He said he is managing to pay for utility bills with his Jobseeker’s Allowance.
Graham added that he cannot drive and that may limit his job search.
He said he has had interviews with TMD Friction and Marks and Spencer, but they were unsuccessful.
He has even applied for some positions more than once.
Graham, who uses the employment service at the Wharton Trust three times a week, said: “It is disheartening.
“But all I can do is keep on trying.
“Even a 16-hour week job would be good.
“This is the longest I have been unemployed, whether it’s because I’m getting older, I don’t know.
“It does leave you down, but you’ve just got to keep trying.”