BRIAN Kitching has been hit so hard by the effects of unemployment that he can barely afford to turn his heating on.
The 32-year-old is struggling so much without a job that he only turns on his heating when his two young children visit on a weekend.
Brian, who is dad to Jake, eight, and five-year-old Fynn, was made redundant from his job as a fabricator and fitter last July.
He said: “I don’t put the heating on as much, only on a weekend when the kids are here.”
Brian added that now he is out of work, he goes out once or twice a week to play billiards and snooker, where previously he was out four or five times a week.
Since his employer, Queen’s Meadow Industrial Estate-based glazing firm QRS, went into receivership in June last year, Brian says he has applied for around 70 jobs.
Brian, who was a fitter for 16 years, has been on the look-out for different types of jobs, even applying to be a driver with Stagecoach North East in a complete career change.
Out of the 70 jobs including window fitting, courier work and driving, he said Stagecoach was the only one he received a reply from.
Optimistically, he revealed he had an interview with the transport firm on Thursday.
Brian, who is surviving on £65-a-week Jobseeker’s Allowance, said there were five jobs available and he has a “good feeling” about how his interview went.
He will find out next week whether he has been successful.
Brian paid tribute to Carl Crossman and the Access to Employment course at the Wharton Trust, which has been helping him in his job search.
He said: “Carl helped me fill my application form in for Stagecoach.
“Stagecoach said they receive loads of applications but only keep so many if they are not filled in correctly.
“If it had not been for Carl I may have not got to that stage.
“This area would suffer if the course was lost.”