Jobseekers in Norfolk speak of their search for employment

The number of unemployed people in Norfolk and Waveney fell by 2pc last month, according to the latest figures released today. But here, jobseekers in Norfolk told the Evening News how it really is.

Beth Carpenter, who has returned from university, at which she studied towards a music degree, has been out of work for a year.

She has began to look for jobs recently, and attended today's Jobs24 Job Fair, at the Forum.

Mrs Carpenter, who has a degree in music, said that she would have 'preferred a job in music, obviously, but anything will do.'

She said she wouldn't mind a job in retail. ' I wouldn't mind a job in customer service,' she said.

Beth didn't specify whether she would have preferred a permanent, temporary, part time or full time job, but was clear that she wanted a job as soon as possible.

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She admitted that a job in her chosen field, music, is highly unlikely in an area such as Norfolk. She said: 'A degree in music doesn't get you jobs round here, that's why I'd also like a customer service job.'

Mark Reading, 25, from Norwich, was a bricklayer and was made redundant. The Jobs 24 fair is his first attempt at finding a new job. He heard about the fair through his mother.

'I have always been in full time work so this is a different experience. I haven't handed any CV's out yet but I am hoping to find something today.'

Chris King, 30, attended yesterday's EDP jobs 24 fair after losing his full time job last year.

He currently works part time as a computer aided sesign technician but cannot always guarantee work as he can only get contracts.

Mr King, from Norwich, is looking for permanent work and said he has transferable skills for other jobs if they were available. He has previously worked in a range of different jobs from retail to pubs and clubs and believes the skills he has developed through these jobs could help him in a future career.

He added that salary partially affects his job hunting tactics and over time finding a full time job has become more important than how much it pays.

He said: 'I have been to the previous job fair and I learnt more about how to go about finding a job.'

Matthew Hollingshead, 32, from Norwich attended the Jobs24 Work Fair yesterday because he has been out of work for eight months after previously working as a barman. He has been to many jobs fairs in the past 'I find them very helpful,' he said.

He has found that finding a job is difficult because he doesn't have a lot of experience and he cannot drive. It appears that a lot of jobs have certain specifications that he just doesn't fill. 'I have noticed that there are more jobs out there for 19-24 year olds, but I'm past that spectrum.'

'I have filled out lots of CVs and I apply for 5-8 jobs per week, I am doing a lot,' he said.

Being out of work for a long time can cause your salary expectations to dip. 'It's a bit of both for me, if someone offers me a job then I will break their hand to get it. But if someone offers me training then I will take that as well, it's as much about the future as it is now.'

'For me, I would like a job that I could be proud of, and call it my career. But right now, I would still take any job.'