Entrepreneur Duncan Bannatyne claimed that “no one ever knocks on my door and asks for a job anymore” while addressing the BBC Question Time audience in the North East.
The Dragons’ Den regular challenged an unemployed youngster who claimed she had applied for “literally hundreds of jobs” online.
Unemployment for the region was the highest in the country between October and December 2014 at 8 per cent, according to the Office for National Statistics, and was a hot topic of debate between North East voters on Thursday (February 19).
Bannatyne also encouraged young people to undertake community work the same week as David Cameron unveiled his plan for compulsory voluntary work for 18-21 year olds on Jobseeker’s Allowance.
The multi-millionaire businessman said: “When I was unemployed I walked round and knocked on the door of companies and said can I talk to the personnel manager and ask for a job?”
The woman defended her position, saying: “We are told by big businesses you have to go through their selection process online.”
Bannatyne replied: “I’m not criticising you just saying there’s another avenue and you need to explore it.”
His words came the night before a new scheme was announced by Generation NE to invest £4.5 million in the hope of creating 2,000 new jobs for 17-24 year olds in the North East.
Generation NE will be funded by five local councils and the Local North East Enterprise Partnership, whose work can be found at: http://nelep.co.uk.#####