UNEMPLOYMENT may be falling but one man’s struggle to find work led him to a ‘mad’ idea – selling himself on eBay.
Ben Burchfield, 20, of New Road, Durrington, advertised a month of his housemaid services on the online auction site, in an attempt to gain work experience.
He sold for £165, money which will be donated to Chestnut Tree House children’s hospice, gaining 20 offers of work in the process.
“I thought it would be a weird and radical way of advertising myself,” he said.
“I did it in a funny way as a mad thing, saying I would do anything for anyone, from DIY to cooking and cleaning.”
Mr Burchfield dreams of working in aviation but narrowly missed out on an apprenticeship with BAE Systems last year.
He has held numerous jobs, including cleaning at Southern Water, but hopes the eBay stunt will open more doors.
The anonymous winning bidder has invited him to London next month and offered to help him with his CV.
He also had offers from as far away as France and at a chicken factory. He has now started his first placement
He said: “I have found it quite hard to get work but I have managed without going on benefits, doing things like sheet metal work and gardening.
“I’m doing some landscaping this week, which I got offered from the eBay advert.
“I would recommend it, but the only thing I would say is once the person wins the auction, make sure they are genuine and you are going to be safe.”
Ben chose Chestnut Tree House for the proceeds to go to as it is the only local children’s hospice.
His mother works at Oak Grove College, whose students often use its facilities for respite visits.
The money, amounting to £159 after eBay fees were deducted, has been paid by the winning bidder and will be donated to the hospice.
In the latest unemployment figures, the number of residents claiming Jobseekers’ Allowance stands at 808 (1.3 per cent), as of December.
The figures have been steadily decreasing in recent months, with current levels the lowest seen since December 2007.
Compared to December 2013, the amount of claimants has fallen by nearly 400.
The south east figure stands at 1.2 per cent, while the UK as a whole is higher, at 1.9 per cent.