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Gutsy Graham Hoskins has landed his first job in 13 years - after writing an amazing 2,900 letters.

The 50-year-old bachelor went to hundreds of interviews in a desperate bid to get off the dole, but each time he was turned down.

Finally he found a fairy godmother with a company called...Halo Van Hire.

Yesterday he said: "I never gave up hope and now I can't believe I'm finally going back to work.

"I already feel as if some of my pride and dignity is returning.

"I can't wait to get started."

Graham, who lives in an unemployment blackspot, was collecting pounds 49.15 a week on the dole. Now he is looking forward to his first wage packet of pounds 115 working as a valet.

Graham, who was made redundant as a storeman in 1984 and now looks after his widowed father, added: "I applied for 2,900 jobs - I kept files on all of them over the years.

"But I just kept getting rejections. It was really disheartening and when I reached my 50th birthday I thought I would never work again.

"Now I feel I can look forward to 1998 with confidence.

"My message to people who have been out of work for a long time is not to give up - a job could be just around the corner."

Graham joined his local Jobclub in 1987 and has been on their books longer than anyone else.

Manager Stephen Rondel said: "We are thrilled that Graham has landed a job after all this time.

"He never gave up but just kept coming up against the same barrier - that he was too rusty to be employable.

"He had a week's trial with the company and they gave him the job on the spot."

Alan Thomas, assistant manager at Halo Van Hire in Blackwood, Gwent, South Wales, said: "We are a local firm and have great faith in the local workforce. We are delighted to give Graham a chance and I'm sure he will do well."
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Copyright 1998 Gale, Cengage Learning. All rights reserved.

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Author:Young, Sydney
Publication:The Mirror (London, England)
Date:Jan 2, 1998
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