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Man rejected for thousands of jobs after moving to Coast

Steve Anderson has been unsuccessfully job hunting for 18 months and he is starting to lose confidence and self-esteem.
Steve Anderson has been unsuccessfully job hunting for 18 months and he is starting to lose confidence and self-esteem. John McCutcheon

IT'S been more than 19 months since Steve Anderson had a job to go to.

In that time he's filled out 2120 applications, but had just seven interviews.

Before moving to the Coast, Mr Anderson lived in Western Australia where he said work wasn't hard to come by with three to six month contracts readily available in his industry.

With two degrees and a mass of certificates and licences from a range of industries, Mr Anderson said he thought employment prospects on the Coast would be similar to WA, but his confidence and self esteem has been left shot by constant rejection.

Even expanding his search to include entry-level positions, labour hire and retail have brought no joy.

After thousands of knockbacks, he's said it's clear unemployed people in their 40s like him are being ignored while the government spends millions focusing on getting youth and seniors into the workforce.

His wife is a stay-at-home mum to their daughter and works making baby-wraps, but the income isn't stable.

Mr Anderson is now forced to rely on welfare to provide for his family which he said conflicts heavily with his ingrained image of manhood.

"I've been brought up with the ideals of the male being the breadwinner and when you can't provide for your family it makes it really hard," he said.

"You struggle to think what can I do, what can I do.

"That encourages conflict, it encourages disputes, arguments, tension between the two of us."

According to data from the Queensland Government (2014-15), Mr Anderson joins 32,000 other 35 to 54 year olds who have been unemployed for between one and two years.

While Mr Anderson said he hasn't felt directly discriminated against because of his age, he believes his high level of experience is off-putting to potential employers as he's frequently been told he's overly qualified.

In a lengthy Facebook post which garnered mass support, Mr Anderson detailed his unemployment journey with many commenting to share their own stories or offer support.

One man even made a Facebook page called Get Steve Ando a Job in the hopes of getting Mr Anderson's story out there.

Now, Mr Anderson is calling on the government to address work shortages for people his age and will be meeting with Buderim MP Steve Dickson to discuss the issue.

"All the politicians are worried about is arguing what nationality they are," Mr Anderson said.

"They're not focusing on the real issues where there's people 35 plus with high unemployment, you look at the youth... they've got a lot of choices.

"I'm just astonished how many other people that are in the same situation I am."

Topics:  editors picks jobs steve dickson unemployment work


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