Marty taking initiative in his search for work
GET Hired hopeful Marty Jackson says voluntary work can help job-seekers find employment.
The 34-year-old is undertaking a research project on behalf of the Alzheimer's Society while he hunts for a full-time paid job.
Mr Jackson, who moved to Plymouth in July last year from Northern Ireland to live with his partner in Lower Compton, said he volunteered because he had previously been a registered carer for his mother, an Alzheimer's disease sufferer.
But he said working on a voluntary basis can help with experience, training and keep job-hunters motivated while they seek a new career.
"I'm a researcher for the Alzheimer's Society," he said. "My task is to collect information on organisations that support charities, for instance that have a charity of the year.
"So I'm looking at who runs schemes, if there is an application process, and when is the best time to apply.
"It's personal to me because of my mother," he added. "But I would also argue that it shows enthusiasm and provides evidence someone is doing something, especially if it's off their own bat."
Marty said the Alzheimer's Society also offers training for volunteers, which he hopes to take part in and he added: "Volunteering also keeps you stimulated, so you don't fall into the trap of spending all day in bed. I would recommend volunteering."
Marty found it difficult to find a job in Plymouth, despite having years of work experience.
He had been employed in a meat processing factory for 13 years in his native Londonderry, also known as Derry, and then spent three years caring for his mother.
But apart from three weeks temporary Christmas work with the Royal Mail, he has not been able to find full-time employment since moving here.
But he has not given up hope and is looking at a either work in a factory, similar to the meat-packing operation he previously worked in, or in the care sector. He is planning to update his skills by taking a one-day food hygiene course at City College Plymouth.
"Because of my background in the meat industry I'm interested in up-dating my food safety certificate," he said.
Meanwhile, Marty is applying for jobs too. He unfortunately failed to gain a job with a large Plymouth call centre, after having an interview, last week. He is also waiting to hear from two city care homes to which he has applied for a job. And Marty is also backing The Herald's Get Hired Expo, at the Guildhall, on March 15, from 10am to 7pm.
The all-day, free-to-enter event has been organised as a way of putting job seekers in contact with employers.
It will feature dozens of employers and organisations giving advice and work opportunities to Plymouth's job-hunters.
Among organisations already committed to taking part are City College Plymouth, Working Links, Plymouth Citybus, Blue Screen IT, Cornwall College and Venus Training and Consultancy.
"It's something I'm interested in going along to," said Marty. "The expo will get everyone together in the same place. I'm very supportive of these kind of events."
If you are an employer who can offer Marty something, please get in touch. Or if you are in a similar position and want your story to be featured in the Get Hired campaign, tell us too. Contact business editor William Telford at firstname.lastname@example.org or ring 01752 765529.