Struggle to find work as trade jobs dry up
ALEX Beckman will be a father in four days but he doesn't know how he will provide for his new family.
The 21-year-old has a swag of experience, certificates and tickets but, despite applying every day for three weeks, he can't land himself a job.
And he's not alone. Today 25 men will walk into a single employment agency in Gladstone looking for work - four times more than the same time last year.
Wiggins Island Coal Export Terminal, a project that had 1250 workers in its peak construction period last year, has slowly demobilised its workers, and 500 people have been laid off from the Curtis Island LNG plants so far this year.
"The worst part is not knowing how we will pay for rent, stuff for the bub and the bills," Mr Beckman said.
"I have lived in Gladstone since I was a kid. It's where the family is and my partner but if I have to go away for money I will."
Every day Alex is dressed and ready for work by 6am, hoping he gets a call for some casual work.
But he hasn't had any luck.
His last full-time job was as a trade assistant on Wiggins Island, but he was laid off six months ago because the construction job was finishing in July.
"It's just luck of the draw because there are so many guys who are looking for work," he said.
"Sometimes you can get a call just saying you have been unsuccessful."
His partner, Jade Glen, is nine months pregnant and due to give birth on Sunday.
"I am working right up to (today) to make as much money as we can," she said.
"It's tough because we're always counting every dollar and he never knows when he is going to get work."
Alex hopes to find work locally, but is prepared for the reality that he might need to "go where the jobs are".
But he is determined to provide for his brand new family.
Some of Alex's qualifications:
- Cardiopulmonary resuscitation certificate
- Working at heights
- Industrial inductions
- Working in trenches
- Understanding quotes
- Certificate II Electrical Technology
- Certificate II Engineering
- Certificate III Plumbing.