WITH youth unemployment at a record high it can be tempting to lose heart in the job hunt.
But 17-year-old Cameron Livingstone has proved that with application and the right training it is at least possible to get a foot on the job ladder.
The former Rastrick High School student left school at 15 and the job market grew increasingly tough.
But now he has passed his forklift driving qualification and is in the middle of an apprenticeship with Batley’s Cash and Carry.
Cameron, of Brackenhall, said: “I did a course at Huddersfield Tech called Explorer which was to open up options about courses you could take.
“That got me to CMS Vocational Training which led to the work experience and an apprenticeship at Batley’s.”
He is now in paid employment and on his way to achieving full Apprenticeship Level 2 in warehousing and storage by spring.
The prospects for many his age looked increasingly bleak during the recession.
In December unemployment levels reached 2.5m – the worst total since the mid-1990s.
Across the UK, the number of 16 to 24-year-olds out of work totalled 952,000 in the three months to October, which is a quarterly rise of 6,000.
Cameron said training was key to getting the skills which can prevent other youngsters becoming part of the statistics.
He said: “Working with a tutor I was able to tick off the things I’ve learned, dealing with stock and getting the forklift licence.
“That was a theory and a practical based on understanding some of the dangers.
“It’s led to them taking me on for Saturdays and Sundays but I’m looking for full-time work as well.
“It’s really hard for people to get jobs – you can look around but it’s tougher than people think.
“A lot of the time the only way off the dole is to get some training.”
Janice Williams, his mentor at CMS, said: “Cameron is an excellent student. He has progressed from a school leaver to a hard working young man over the course of his time here.
“We are very proud of him and we are always looking for local firms to support our young people in this way.”