Maidenbower dad applied for 900 jobs with no luck
UNEMPLOYED dad Luke Timms has applied for 900 jobs in six years – and not managed to land a single one.
He is growing increasingly disheartened in his desperate search for full-time employment, as he looks to support his girlfriend and son.
But he does not appear to be alone in the difficulty he is facing finding work – as the News has discovered that hundreds of hopefuls are applying for certain jobs.
Other than some part-time work, Luke, 23, from Balcombe Road, Maidenbower, has not had a proper job in the last six years.
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In that time he has sent off at least three job applications a week – adding up to more than 900 bids to find employment.
"I've not had a proper job in six years," he said.
"I'll take anything. I apply every week, but all I get is sorry, no or no reply at all. It makes me feel hopeless. It knocks my confidence down.
"I have to apply for six jobs every fortnight and I've been doing that for six years.
"I'm on benefits at the moment but that's not how I want to live, I want to come off them.
"I've got a girlfriend, and my son Wyatt is just six months and three days old. I want to provide for him.
"I've done some kitchen portering and some gardening. I'd like to get into cleaning, I could do that. I just need someone to give me a chance."
The News has found that competition for certain jobs is incredibly high.
Sifting through a pile of CVs for temporary jobs at Wilko in Crawley town centre, manager Barry Holden said: "The problem is obvious.
"We're swamped with CVs and there are only so many vacancies. We're probably sitting on 200 or so applications at the moment, and getting ten to 20 new applications in every day – more at weekends.
"With so many applications you have to filter them in some way. I like to check they are well-presented and grammatically correct. We're looking for a difference – for people to stand out.
"I'm not sure how many jobs we are likely to have, perhaps five or so. A lot of people are going to be disappointed."
Over at Waterstones, in The Martlets, it is a similar story.
Manager Sarah Major has been swamped with job enquiries – especially from students and their mothers.
"Last year we had 36 applicants for every one post," she said. "It's not going to be any better this year, and it may be worse.
"Our applications are made online but enquiries are being made pretty much non stop.
"We're getting maybe six or seven a day. I'm not sure how many vacancies we are likely to have but it's probably only going to be a couple."
Business leader Jeremy Taylor says there are reasons for those struggling to find work to be optimistic.
The chief executive of Gatwick Diamond Business said: "There is some hope on the horizon. The new Tesco warehouse will have 600 jobs, and the Town Centre North development with Waitrose and the new hotel will bring jobs too.
"I would recommend voluntary work to anyone who misses out – it may not pay but it will help you to get that job next time around."