A Christchurch man who lost his job during lockdown and has applied for nearly 200 positions since says he no longer feels as though he's in this job search alone after an outpouring of support.
Salesman Craig Cormack, 64, has had a long and successful career, but that ended abruptly in lockdown after the company he'd worked with for five years had a plummet in sales and then a restructure.
Ever since, Cormack has been desperate to get back to work. He told Newshub on Saturday he's applied for 185 jobs, cold-called companies, and handed out his CV, but has only gotten as far as the interview stage.
He's been living on Government support and chewing through a small amount of savings that was intended for his retirement ever since.
But since Newshub shared his story, Cormack says he's received a lot of support, even from people he's never met.
"It has been a wee bit [overwhelming]. A lot of people have tracked me down on Facebook and people that don't know me have given me support, saying 'hang in there'," he told Newshub on Sunday.
"A couple of people have asked about the type of work that I've done and details on that, and from there they hope to connect and see if there's something we can work out."
Newshub's Facebook page and email inbox has been inundated with offers from people to help Cormack with his job search, something he says has encouraged him.
"It feels good, it's positive. It's given me a boost in myself. I don't feel alone anymore," he says.
"I'm just grateful for the people that have supported me and just said 'hang in there', or if they can't offer a job they give me support. As I say, I don't feel alone anymore about it."
Cormack isn't the only one in search of employment. Over 135,000 people receive jobseeker support, which is 50,000 more people than the same time last year. Just over 2000 people are still getting the COVID-19 income relief payment.