I read with great interest the article in the Daily Mail dated 20th June 2012 – an unemployed man from Bolton who is at the end of his tether trying to secure a new role after being made redundant 11 months ago. Steve Clarke, previously a Quality Assurance Engineer has made over 300 applications in this time with little result, only 5 interviews. In a bid to try and draw some attention and a fantastic PR stunt (although I am not sure it was premeditated); Steve sat on a chair by the roadside in Bolton with a homemade placard stating: “Willing to work. Job required. Steve 07584420914”.
The article drew my interest as I have worked with hundreds of unemployed people who suffer frustration at not being able to find work – upsetting when they actually really want to work. I saddens me to see such desperation but also warms my heart to see the determination one man has to secure some work and stop his house from being repossessed. The government through the DWP once offered a scheme called the jobsearch support scheme which allocated funds the jobcentre plus to put customers forward to professionally trained organisations geared to assisting the likes of Steve. Unfortunately this funding was pulled in March 2011 and I cannot help but think that such a scheme would be ideal for Steve. As Steve has not been unemployed before he has little exposure to how the job market works in the current climate and as such this lack of knowledge and understanding puts him behind his competitors for a new role.
This isn’t the first attempt to secure a new job buy standing in the street with placards and I am sure it won’t be the last time it is reported. I only hope the publicity from Steve’s campaign secures him some leads and he is soon back in employment.
Could we be doing more? Yes, I think we could! My personal contribution towards assisting those in a vulnerable position is to offer a free CV review – by talking through the CV and offering constructive advice which you can take away with you and make changes to your document, I like to feel I am giving something back. I would be interested in other organisations who offer free assistance and advice to job seekers as it would be an ideal opportunity to create a repository of information and guidance to make sure we do not have more desperate approaches to finding a job.