WORK WANTED: The man behind the sign
MEET James Steele.
He's a qualified cabinet maker, an A grade welder and a tiler.
He has experience working with horses, labouring and landscaping.
He loves motorbikes and his two dogs, Pink and Uber.
But the Silkstone resident is battling depression as he continues the desperate search for a job.
This morning James took the drastic step of making his personal struggles public.
He set himself up at the five ways in Ipswich with a sign saying 'work wanted, will do anything'.
James hopes an employer will answer his call for help.
"I'm desperate," James said.
"I've applied for work via job ads, I've rung people out of the phone book, I've tried word of mouth.
"I've had a bit of work but nothing consistent.
"It's embarrassing to admit but I have been going without things, just trying to get by.
"I just want to build a better life for myself and my partner."
James grew up in Boonah and before his recent stint of unemployment he was a full-time carer for his mother.
Before that, he had a stable job for ten years.
His facial tattoos could be putting prospective employers off, James acknowledges, but the reason why his face, head, back and stomach are covered tattoos might surprise people.
"I looked after my mum for four and a half years," James said.
"It was hard. The doctors would tell me things like, she only has 24-hours to live, or this is the end but she lasted four years.
"She had cancer. They amputated her leg and one of her breasts was removed. She wanted to be at home so I made sure I could look after her.
"I was single at the time and no other family members helped me, although the RSL was really supportive.
"I got the tattoos to help me deal with things. I felt angry and sometimes it was hard when I didn't necessarily understand what the doctors were saying.
"When you don't have work and you don't know if any money will be coming in, it gets depressing.
"I just want a chance to show I am valuable, that I am a good employee, that I can look after my partner and myself."
- Can you help? Call James on 0432 114 211.