The dole ain’t so rock ‘n’ roll

By Barry Lord   @bazneto

Anyone experiencing long term unemployment in this country will know that finding the right job can be like ploughing a lonely furrow.

To fill out countless application forms and prepare for many interviews only to be rejected can be soul-destroying. Or in some cases, not get to the interview stage at all.

One Dublin man is well qualified to speak on this subject.

Paddy Woods phoned RTE’s Liveline to highlight the reality of being a jobseeker in the current climate, where there is seemingly a greater emphasis on age and health as opposed to experience.

Despite a versatile CV, Paddy is finding opportunities to work difficult to come by. He has applied to shipping companies, bus companies and travel agents, but invitations to interviews are elusive.

I’ve sent out the guts of under 90 CVs since last October, said Paddy. In that time, I’ve had two responses. Professional courtesy has vanished.

Paddy believes that apart from professional courtesy, a sense of compassion and understanding is lacking from employers when it comes to dealing with new applicants.

“Very often people never find out why they didn’t get a particular job. You are rarely told. In my own case, I’ve only had two instances where it was explained to me that I quite literally didn’t fit the job criteria and another because I was over the age of 40. I mean, I’m only 49, only a young lad.”

Indeed Paddy has shown the determination of someone half his age to better his personal circumstances, even taking to re-training to boost his prospects in an increasingly competitive market.

“I’m in the middle of a D-license commercial driving course at the Rice school of motoring in Dundalk,” said Paddy. “It’s intensive training over 14 week and I’m into my fifth week at the moment. It’s been brilliant and I’ve seen a range of age groups, all people like me trying to change their lives.”

“We have a great workforce in Ireland. There are some highly skilled people on the dole.”

Paddy appealed to Liveline listeners who may be in similar circumstances not to give up and urged employers to handle people with more care.

Paddy said: “If you’re an employer and someone has shown an interest in a job, taken time to do some research on the company, have the courtesy to pick up the phone to them or invite them in for an interview. They may not be the right fit, but make the gesture. It would show the heart that seems to have gone from our society and keep the darkness at bay for a lot of people.”


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