Business

Money Matters: Job losses prompt budget review

Graham Fine
Image caption Mr Fine is looking for advice about where to put a lump sum he is expecting from an endowment policy

In the window of the job centre in Plymouth, there are vacancies advertised for a fitness instructor and a chef.

The trainer needs to be available for 39 hours a week, including some weekend work.

Among the visitors to the BBC Money Matters Roadshow in nearby Drake Circus shopping centre, there are some who feel fit for work - but find themselves unemployed.

Some have come for advice on how to get back into a job, others are seeking financial guidance on how to cope as they search for work.

'Pressure'

They include Daniel Higgins, who lost his job as a legal clerk a couple of months ago.

The 25-year-old has a six-month-old daughter and his partner is on maternity leave, so he admits to feeling under pressure both financially and emotionally.

"It is affecting both of us on a personal level," he says.

Image caption Daniel Higgins is looking for work to support his family

"There are not many jobs out there, and any rejection can be quite demoralising."

He is at the Money Matters Roadshow to ask for advice on how to cope during unemployment, such as paying bills and rent.

His case is an example of many people's plight, according to benefits expert Lee Healey of IncomeMax.

He says there are various benefits available to people as they move back into work, as well as training opportunities.

Retirement

At the other end of the working age range is Graham Fine, a 64-year-old plumber.

He was made redundant a couple of years ago when the housing market slumped.

"The construction industry was hit hard," he says.

"You do not mind if your job goes to a youngster, but it is tough for them too.

"I was fortunate that I had no debts and no mortgage so I did not start panicking."

He came to the event to ask for help on where to put a lump sum he was expecting from an endowment policy, hoping that it would help finance his forthcoming retirement.

Typical

It is not just the construction industry that has been hit by the economic slowdown in the South West of England in recent years.

There are just over 6,000 people on jobseeker's allowance in Plymouth.

The proportion of those on the benefit is typical of the country as a whole.

The Money Matters Roadshow shines a light on their financial struggle - on top of a loss of income - that results from time out of work.

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