A WANNABE plumber says he is finding it hard to get his foot on to the employment ladder 18 months after leaving college.
Michael Driver left Hartlepool College of Further Education with a Level 1 NVQ in plumbing.
But apart from a month’s temporary placement, he is still looking for work.
The 20-year-old said since graduating from his plumbing course, that he must have applied for between 150 and 200 jobs all over the country.
Living at home with parents, he is managing to survive on £51 a week Jobseeker’s Allowance.
Of this he pays £20 lodge and mainly shells out on rising bus fares in his quest for work.
Michael, who is registered on the Wharton Trust’s Access to Employment course, said: “I was kind of expecting to get work straight away.
“But it’s a lot more difficult than I originally thought it would be.
“The best outcome from those applications was probably an interview with Respondez Call Centre.
“I also had an interview through British Energy.
“It would have meant moving to Portsmouth for two years.
“I had some tests but was unsuccessful.”
Michael, of Lanark Road, Hartlepool, said the lack of replies from his applications was “disappointing”.
“Most of them haven’t even sent rejection emails back,” he added.
Michael, who is broadening his job search to include bar work, labouring and work in care homes, said he felt his age was possibly putting employers off because of his lack of experience.
He said: “If the employment course was to end it would limit the support I have got and harm my job chances.
“It just shows the Government is not particularly interested in helping the average person.
“It can pull money out to build the Olympic stadium but not help get people into work – the priorities are all wrong.”