A FATHER-OF-TWO who was made redundant from Remploy is so disheartened at being unemployed he is left physically sick at the thought of claiming benefits.

Mark Rowcroft was one of 41 people left without employment after the factory in Spennymoor, County Durham, closed in August.

After two months of training courses and posting endless CVs and applications without success, the 38-yearold said he was struggling to see when he would receive a job offer.

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He said: “I have been doing the training courses and I already have a lot of experience in soldering, but I am finding the jobs are going to people without experience.

“(The companies) then have to start from scratch because the people they have taken on do not know what they are doing.

“I have had three responses, but I find they keep you hanging and then you do not get the job.

“All I want to do is work and I am doing all I can. My disability does not make a difference to the work I do. I have sent out so many CVs and signed up to training courses and agencies, but still nothing.

“I am limited in my search area, because I cannot drive, but I am applying for everything available.

“It makes me physically sick when the day comes round to sign on.”

Mr Rowcroft, who worked at the company for more than 16 years, said life was a struggle because of the lack of money.

He joined many of his colleagues on strike in July as they protested over the Government’s plans to close half of the country’s 54 Remploy plants, which according to the Department of Work and Pensions, lost £68.3m last year.

He said: “I loved working there; it was like a family.

“I have spoken to some of my friends (from Remploy) and everyone is so disheartened by the lack of work. We all feel hard done by.

“It is so difficult getting knocked back all the time, and it is tough on everyone.

We have families to support.

“I am not surprised at the figures, but I do not know what more we can do.”