Father willing to do anything to work
FATHER of two Andrew Roberts has turned to desperate measures to put food on his family's table.
Dressed in his work gear, Andrew holds a sign out the front of his house that reads "I need a job to support my family. Will do anything", the 43-year-old concreter says he is at a stage where he will clean toilets.
"I will do anything and go anywhere. I'm not going to give up. I need a job too badly to support my family," Andrew said.
The active jobseeker who has been out of work for the past eight months, has been standing by his sign on the corner of Saltwater Creek Rd in Maryborough every day since Monday.
Andrew's partner is five months pregnant with their third child and the money the family receives from Centrelink barely covers the groceries.
"We're getting further and further behind in bills and the car is out of rego," he said.
Without a car to drive, Andrew walked his daughter to the dentist in town this week.
Andrew isn't alone, with the Wide Bay ranked one of the worst regions in Queensland for unemployment.
As of May this year the unemployment rate was 9.5 per cent, significantly higher than the nation's unemployment rate of 5.8 per cent.
Andrew said he had registered with several job agencies on the Fraser Coast and had gained tickets and qualifications including his Certificate III in concreting, excavator, roller and front- end loader tickets.
While standing on the street this week, Andrew has had honks from locals and one man even stopped and insisted he take some cash.
"I didn't want to take it," he said.
While trying to remain strong for his family, emotionally Andrew is feeling at his wit's end.
"Things are tough, really tough" he said.
Andrew, who has been concreting for twenty years and helped concrete the Stockland project in Hervey Bay, said in the past he usually picked up work quickly.
"I just don't understand why I can't get work."
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