Daniel sees getting job as a gateway to happy future
DANIEL Hale just wants what most young men take for granted: a girlfriend, a house and a family – but it's out of reach because he doesn't have a job.
The 30-year-old has been unemployed for five years, and currently lives with his parents in Whitleigh.
But he yearns for a career and independence and said: "I'll be 31 in a couple of months but I've never had a girlfriend because I can't afford the romantic side of things.
"I want a job, to get a flat, have a girlfriend, a family, and whatever."
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Daniel moved to Plymouth, with his folks, from Hastings, in Sussex, in 2007.
He hasn't worked since arriving in the city, despite looking hard for a job.
Before that he only had temporary posts too.
"I worked two summer seasons as a glass collector at Pontins in Camber Sands, Sussex," he said. "That was in 2004 and 2005."
Yet Daniel has qualifications, including completing a two-year catering course.
"I went to school in Hastings and left after GCSEs," he said. "Then I went to college, but although I did catering I wasn't that interested in it.
"I had wanted to be in the forces and the only job was catering, but they didn't have any vacancies.
"Then I found out I have a slight hearing problem."
That meant Daniel wasn't suitable, and he has another issue too: "I haven't had it 100 per cent diagnosed, but I have Asperger's traits."
Asperger's syndrome is an autism spectrum disorder characterised by significant difficulties in social interaction.
Daniel said he might struggle to work as a chef, but could be a waiter, for instance.
But he also said that, paradoxically, it could be a blessing.
"I can't say I'm disabled, but it might actually help me get a job," he said. "An employer might be more interested. And Asperger's does not affect me as a person. I can still do anything I want to do."
And Daniel is determined to get that job – that's why he wanted to be the latest recruit to The Herald's Get Hired campaign.
He has IT qualifications, and has been helped by Working Links, in Plymouth, where he has completed courses in customer service and health-and-safety.
"But I've got used to unemployment," he said. "I find that if I put an application in I'm already preparing for failure.
"It's because I've applied for just about every job going.
"Some places have had about 10 CVs off me. Mostly the story is "thanks but no thanks", that's if I get anything at all.
"And I'm looking for anything, retail or anything. I just want a job."
The Herald is looking for job-seekers to become part of our Get Hired campaign. Could that person be you?
If you would like to be featured please contact William Telford, business editor, on 01752 765529 or at email@example.com