Unemployed youngsters battling to find jobs in the harsh economic climate have today spoken of their struggle to get back into work.
Although the number of people claiming Jobseeker’s Allowance in Blackpool dropped from 6,226 in January to 6,179 in February, there are still thousands desperately seeking work.
Experts say the town also has the highest level of youth unemployment in the North West.
Blackpool Council recently ran a workshop with businesses in the hope of outlining a plan to help the thousands unemployed in the resort.
And some of those involved have told The Gazette of the problems they have experienced.
Tarrant Applin, 21, of Singleton Court, Blackpool, is still out of work after leaving the Pleasure Beach in July, but hopes to enrol on a college course and learn a trade.
He said: “It’s been horrible and I’ve had nothing since July. I sometimes have to make the choice of eating or heating my home, and it’s not something I like.
“I have my own place but I can’t afford to live there this week so I’m living with my mum.”
John Halpin, 19, of Stuart Place, Grange Park, left the Army because of an injury and spent 18 months searching for work.
He has now found short-term work as a barman at Bierkeller in Blackpool while he puts together plans to set-up his own business.
He said: “I’ve been looking for work since I left the Army three years ago and it’s been pretty hard.
“It took me a year and a half to find work and I was on the dole, which made me lazy and I didn’t want to do anything.”
Mike Taplin, lead officer on employment and skills for young people at the council, said: “This is a major challenge because Blackpool has the highest youth unemployment in the north west.”
In the same period, JSA claimants in Fylde went up from 1,051 to 1,068, while in Wyre they rose from 1,725 to 1,748.