Bo’ness teenager tells of problems trying to find a job

This time last year, Chloe Whyte (19) had just taken on a busy, demanding job in the third sector, working full-time as president of Stirling University Student Union.

By Kirsty Paterson
Wednesday, 16th September 2020, 4:45 pm

But when her term in office came to an end in June, she was shocked at how difficult it was to find another job.

Chloe, from Bo’ness, was unemployed from June until August and has now taken on a part-time job to help pay the bills.

She said: “I suppose, naively, I thought when it came to the end of my term I could just walk into another job.

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Chloe Whyte (19)

“I knew it might not be ideal but I didn’t think it wouldn’t be that hard – but I’ve just been totally bounced back from everything since June.

“I should have been moving to Edinburgh by now, but that’s totally on hold because I don’t have the money to pay rent so I’ve moved back in with my family.

“I also worked as an activities co-ordinator before but when I applied for an identical role I was told I didn’t have the experience.

“I’ve applied to everything – even McDonald’s – but I’ve just been bounced back.

“I think there’s such an influx – one of the jobs I applied for, they told me they had 192 applicants.

She believes young people are finding it particularly hard at the moment.

“It used to be quite easy for a young person to get a retail job and build up experience from there but now they are looking for qualifications for every single job.

“I’ve volunteered in the third sector for about four years, in a range of roles, but I’m rejected because I don’t have an actual qualification.”

Chloe has a chronic pain disease but has applied for jobs she knows will be difficult because she needs to work.

The experience of unemployment has been hard for her.

“It makes me feel under-valued. I feel that people can’t see my worth beyond factors such as my age and disability.”

She is hopeful that the measures the Scottish Government has announced, which Falkirk Council will be discussing, will help.

“I think more training would be great but it’s just not a financially viable option for me at the moment,” she said.

“I hope that any schemes will be well advertised to young people.”