Unemployment in the West Midlands

40 year old Mark Beasley from Sheldon in Birmingham is a dad of two who had been working for LDV for 15 years before the company went into administration in June 2009.

The factory in Washwood Heath stopped making vans just before Christmas last year because of a drop in global sales linked to the recession.

Since then hundreds of workers have been stuggling to pay the bills after being made redundant.

Mark's family was one of around 6000 in the West Midlands thought to have been affected by the closure of the plant which employed 850 staff, and thousands more in dealerships and the supply chain.

Since then Mark has applied for a number of jobs but in recent months has been retraining to survey gas and electric meters with Wilcocks/OnStream.


8th June 2009

I knew this morning that there was going to be a hearing about the future of LDV and as expected by 11 o'clock it was announced that the company had gone into administration. However, by the afternoon the administrators had also revealed that most of the 850 strong workforce would be made redundant. Although there has been lots of speculation about LDV over recent months it did come as a shock and now I'm just really worried about my future and how I'm going to be able to afford a roof over my family's head.


11th June 2009

I joined hundreds of other LDV workers at the factory to find out about my redundancy package and options for the future with the taskforce that had been set up. After 15 years working for the company it feels like a massive blow and I'm worried about how I'm going to pay my mortgage, especially after already having to take a pay cut. The last 6 months have been a huge struggle and it feels like it's just got alot worse. The Job Centre have booked me in a slot on Sunday to talk about my options and to sign on so that's what's going to happen next, I just hope I can find something really soon.


12th June 2009

Today I went to sign on at the Job Centre which felt really weird. I talked to them about doing a week long course in Newcastle to become a locksmith and they're pushing me forward and helping me try and get a place on the course. Hopefully this will help me achieve my goal now of becoming self employed and having my own business. I just need to get something sorted as soon as possible or otherwise I face losing my home as I don't have any redundancy cover and it's just a huge struggle financially at the moment.


7th July 2009 

The course I wanted to go in Newcastle hasn't materialised as nobody got back to me but I have finally got some money off the social after 7 weeks which has really helped. I've applied for a couple of things and had a job interview but unfortunately wasn't successful. I'm just feeling really low as there's nothing around, things aren't looking very good and I feel a bit like I've just been abandoned. There's some open days coming up later this month at Birmingham City Council and a jobs event at Villa Park so hopefully that might lead to something. Financially I'm still struggling but at least I'm now starting to get some money off social. My whole family's been afftected as we're having to be very careful with money and it's really getting to us all.


16th July 2009

I went to sign on yesterday and whilst I was there the Job Centre also put me in touch with the company Sure Trust in Digbeth, which help people find courses that they can go on and so on Tuesday I'm off there to have a meeting and discuss what's out there that would be suitable for me. I'm hoping to retrain and maybe get into something like air conditioning or just see what opportunities are out there. But overall things are still not good, I'm really struggling financially and having to be really careful with money. I'm also really dependant on my other half which is difficult for everyone. Until I get a job i dont think things will get any easier.


22nd November 2009

It's been a while since I had some news but I have finally got on a training course with Bourneville College. I'm taking a gas safety course and hopefully at the end of January will have a job with Wilcocks/ On Stream as long as my pass my exams. Feeling lots more hopeful about things now so just to need to make sure I pass all my assessments and should be on the way to securing a job after months out of work.


6th January 2010

Well the good news is that my retraining has gone really well. I have been found it really enjoyable and I also like going out and meeting new people everyday, which makes the role very interesting. I also passed all my exams so I should find out very soon if I've been successful in securing a job. Fingers crossed now! But I am feeling 99 per cent more happy compared to this time 6 months ago and am now just looking forward to getting back into full-time work.