Manchester news Life out of work in a pandemic Manchester united news
MetiNews.Com - "It's one of the worst times to lose employment"
Breaking News ! He had landed his dream job - running a pub with his pal in his hometown. But like many people, the coronavirus pandemic left Kieran Webster, from Rochdale, homeless and out of work for months. "I went from having true adult freedom, a job, money and somewhere to live, to living in a spare room doing nothing for six months," he said. Kieran's is just one story. The coronavirus pandemic has led to widespread job losses due to the crippling impact on the economy. More people were made redundant between July and September than at any point on record, according to official data. The figures, from the Office for National Statistics, suggest that unemployment in the UK reached 4.8% in the three months to September, with 1.62 million people losing their jobs. Behind those figures are real people who have been left struggling to pay the bills while grappling with the psychological impact of redundancy in a global pandemic. The Manchester Evening News has spoken to business owners and workers, like Kieran, who found themselves suddenly out of work. The landlords Before the pandemic, things were going well for Kieran, who took over a pub with his pal Ella Jaruszek in December last year. "It was my dream job. I always wanted to do it. Me and my friend fell in love with all of the regulars", he recalled. "Me and my partner were doing wonderfully. I thought 'we are going to beast this, we will be here for years'. "My nana ran a pub in Castleton for 15 years. I always wanted to do it. It was like a family legacy," he said. But when the national lockdown was announced on March 23, everything changed. Kieran Webster lost his home and his job when the pub he was living above and working at was closed following the Coronavirus lockdown (Image: Joel Goodman) "A week before the lockdown, Boris said to over 70 year olds to' lock yourselves away'. "We had lots of customers that were over 70", he said. The pub closed and he went on furlough. But then, on April 29, he said he and his business partner received a letter to say they had been let go by the brewery that owned the pub, he claimed. They were living in a flat above the pub and were hoping they would be able to stay, but they were told they would need to leave in May. "We had to look for somewhere to live. My mum died last year. I thought 'I need to find a job' and find somewhere to live", he said. "My business partner's parent let me stay on her sofa. They have been brilliantly supportive", he said. After sofa surfing, Kieran moved into his nan ground-floor flat with his dog, Bonnie. He moved into Hilda's spare 8ft by 4ft bedroom - and she sold precious jewellery to raise money for her grandson and his Border Collie. Kieran moved into his gran's box room (Image: Joel Goodman) Kieran signed on to Universal Credit, and spends around a third of the money he claims on storage - which costs £120 a month. He has around £150 to live on each month after giving money to his gran to help pay the bills and for food. "My gran is 72. She has to put up with me and my Border Collie. My grandma has quite a collection of jewellery. "She sold a couple of pieces of jewellery. It breaks my heart. She has had to sell pieces to support me and my dog. "I would prefer to be fully homeless on the street than sell my dog. She is my baby." Kieran recently found a job, as a night time order picker at Iceland. His business partner Ella also started working there. Kieran Webster and his gran Hilda (Image: Joel Goodman) Ella said the experience of losing the pub has had a big impact on her mental health. The 24-year-old said, said: "It was awful to be honest. I have had depression for about 15 years. "I have never known as many people who are unemployed (as there are now). "Dealing with the depression, the isolation, the pressure from losing the job - it's one of the worst times to lose employment. Me and Kieran had been going to the gym. But they shut it again, I was back on a downward spiral", she said. Read More Related Articles 'A major moment in Manchester’s history' - Inside the Piccadilly Gardens wall demolition site as it’s finally torn down Read More Related Articles Sign up to our newsletter for the latest M.E.N. headlines The freelancer Colin Taylor, from Radcliffe, used to earn, on average, £29,000 a year as a freelance consultant document controller. He was recently working on a project for a company, building telephone masts in rural areas. "When Covid hit they said they needed to do everything in-house", he said.
"The Jobs Seekers Allowance runs out in the middle of next month. I'm not sure what's going to happen after that"
"That's six months I have been unemployed, it's galling. I'm getting rather annoyed about the fact that I'm not employed", he said. He estimates that he will have lost around £10,000 in salary after tax due to being out of work. He is only entitled to around £300 a month in job seekers allowance as he lives with his father, who is a civil servant. All the money he was saving up has gone on bills. "I have £500 a month going out and £300 a month coming in. "The Jobs Seekers Allowance runs out in the middle of next month. I'm not sure what's going to happen after that." Colin has gone for all kinds of jobs - including café work. "I have been applying for jobs left, right and centre - it must be getting on for about 70 or 80 (jobs), probably more than that." The salon owner "It was soul destroying", said Selene Mitchell. The beautician opened her business House of Eden at Pollard Yard in Ancoats in February, but had to shut her doors in March in the first lockdown. She decided to close the salon for good in October - after around eight months. She said it 'broke her heart'. "Paying full rent with no income aside the business grant, which was a complete blessing, it was soul destroying. "Particularly watching other businesses carrying on as normal with zero ethics in place," Selene said.
Beautician Selene Mitchell in her pod on Pollard Yard, Ancoats
(Image: Manchester Evening News)
"I stayed optimistic, continued to study a lot at home while looking after the kids, but as September was looming I began to realise my situation needed a definitive decision," she added. "I got opinions from friends, family and a business adviser through people and we all agreed it’s poor economy to keep the business open," she said. Selene's family cleared the unit as she 'couldn’t face it'. "Although I’d made that decision I knew it was the right one and knew that this wasn’t over in terms of lockdowns," she added. "If I’d stayed I would have made the wrong decision. I met some beautiful people at Pollard Yard and miss them a lot," she said. Selene did a course in Reiki and is now a full practioner.
'I wish everyone going through hard times strength': Selene Mitchell
(Image: Manchester Evening News)
"This have saved me from dwelling on the would haves and could haves," she said. "I don’t regret closing but I miss it, that place had a huge emotional significance for me and a few people know why. "I feel OK about moving on as I’m starting my own centre from home - what is meant to be will serve you. I sincerely wish everyone going through hard times so much strength." The graduate A 22-year-old man, who asked not to be named, was working at a security firm on a zero hours contract before the lockdown. The worker, who has a degree in business management, had been working, on average, 86 hours a month. But, he said, he received a letter saying he needed to shield at the start of the pandemic as he has severe asthma. The 22-year-old said he was taken off furlough in August and hasn't been paid since. He has applied for Universal Credit but is waiting for payment to come through. He had been hoping to get his foot on the ladder and applied for around 40 graduate jobs.
Many people have applied for Universal Credit since the pandemic
But it has been tough for graduates like him. "I have been living off family. I have been looking for new work. The companies I have applied for - PWC and KPMG - have been laying off staff. "A lot of the grad schemes have been put on hold," he said. He has decided to take a new path due to his circumstances - and has recently been accepted for a teaching job in China. What the government has to say We contacted the Department for Work and Pensions to ask what advice they offer for people who have lost their jobs in the pandemic. Chris Pritchard, a work coach team leader based at Salford Jobcentre said: "Work Coaches in Jobcentres can offer a wide range of support from creating a CV and interview skills to training and bespoke job finding support. "We work with a wide network of partner organisations and employers to support the work we do. We encourage everyone who has had their income affected to check their eligibility for Universal Credit and to seek help if they need to find another job." He outlined some of the initiatives introduced due to the impact of Covid 19 and the resulting increase in those out of work: • A £2 billion Kickstart Scheme will provide six month placements from Autumn this year. Funding available for each six-month job placement will cover 100% of the National Minimum Wage for 25 hours a week – and employers will be able to top this wage up. The scheme will be focused on supporting young people who are on Universal Credit and at risk of long term unemployment. • An Expanded Youth Offer to support 18 to 24 year olds, this will include a 13-week programme and once completed participants will be encouraged to take up work related training or an apprenticeship and further support will be provided through Youth Employment Coaches and Youth Hubs based in the community. • Expanding the Work and Health programme to provide personalised, light touch support for up to six months for those who have been unemployed for three months. • They are increasing participation in sector-based work academies programmes, aiming to support 40,000 jobseekers to get the right skills for the roles that are on offer. • £150 million to boost the flexible support fund and allow jobcentres to put in place the right support for their community and to increase capacity of the rapid response service that can be deployed for large local redundancies. • Job finding support service – The government will provide £40 million to fund external capacity to introduce a job finding support service in Great Britain. • They are developing a new large-scale support offer, targeted at those who are out of work for longer periods and in need of support. What's your view on what should happen after the National Lockdown ends next month? Have your say here:
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Source = MetiNews.Com