Stoke & Staffordshire

Man gets job after placard plea in Stoke-on-Trent

A man has landed a job after standing by a roundabout holding a placard pleading for work in Stoke-on-Trent.

Mark Wheeldon, 23, was offered a job three hours after standing with the sign in the rain in Hanley.

Vince Champion, a director at Smart Timber Frame Company, said he was impressed by Mr Wheeldon's tenacity and "determination to find a job".

The number of people in the city on Jobseeker's Allowance is above the national average.

Mr Wheeldon, of Newcastle-under-Lyme, who was unemployed for two years, held up a sign saying "Please give me a job" earlier this month.

'Spring in step'

He said he was now looking forward to a fresh start.

"I'm over the moon, I can't believe it to be honest with you," he said. "I'm back in work now and I'm enjoying the work I'm doing and looking to the future."

Mr Champion drove Mr Wheeldon home so he could get a shower and later conducted an interview.

The employer said: "It was the tenacity of someone standing in the pouring rain and the determination that they had had to find a job.

"With that attitude someone's got a spring in their step and will come to work and be part of a team."

The number of people claiming Jobseeker's Allowance in Staffordshire was 27,488 in July 2009 - 13,816 more than the previous year.

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