JOB SUCCESS: Jessica Hailey found employment at the Kent St Bakery after almost a year of job hunting across the Fraser Coast. The State Government's Back to Work program assisted with her job find.
JOB SUCCESS: Jessica Hailey found employment at the Kent St Bakery after almost a year of job hunting across the Fraser Coast. The State Government's Back to Work program assisted with her job find. Blake Antrobus

Persistance pays off for job-seeking Wide Bay teen

A YEAR after she first started handing out resumes in Maryborough, persistent young job-seeker Jessica Hailey has finally had success.

The 18-year-old is the 2000th person in the Wide Bay to secure employment through the State Government's Back to Work Program which gives job-seekers the resources to get ahead.

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Told by at least 25 employers she was too old and would cost too much to hire, Jessica had all but given up until she was given a chance by the Kent St Bakery.

She said the long job-hunt had been tough especially since it wasn't a lack of willingness which was going against her.

"It was hard finding employment, people gave me different answers like I was too old or they wanted people that weren't going to cost a lot to hire," Ms Hailey said.

"Some just took my resume and didn't get back to me at all."

Since starting work about three months ago, Ms Hailey's life has significantly improved.

"I've gotten my licence, I'm saving up to move out to my own place and I've even bought a new phone," she said.

"It was hard to pay rent when you don't have a job, and you can't really do anything like go out with friends."

About 15 of Ms Hailey's friends, all around her age, are going through the same struggle finding employment.

Recent figures from the Australian Bureau of Statistics show Wide Bay job-seekers spend an average of 61 weeks looking for work before they are successful.

"My message to job-seekers is to never give up just because someone doesn't want to hire you because of your age," Ms Hailey said.

"Someone will always want to employ you."

Bakery owner Jamie Bielby said he was happy with his hiring choice.

"She (Jessica) is a good worker, and very family-oriented," Mr Bielby said.

"She's been a hard worker ever since she came here."



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