Video: Ian Bowler speaks to Marcellus Baz about his job hunting mission.
A Nottingham man who spent months walking across the city handing out CVs because he struggles to use computers to apply for jobs is celebrating after finally finding work.
Ian Bowler, 55, from Clifton, found himself unemployed last year after 37 years of being in work, having been made redundant from his job at a wholesale business.
And he struggled to find and apply for vacancies because he struggles to use computers.
Undeterred and needing money to help support his disabled son, Ian spent six months job hunting, often by walking to businesses to deliver CVs by hand.
He said: “Simple fact is, not everyone knows about computers. If you don’t know computers how can you find where the work is?
“I walked all over Nottingham trying to find work. I went to numerous companies who all told me everything was online.”
His efforts even took him out during the ‘Beast from the East’ cold spell earlier this month, when Ian walked five miles to hand out CVs. During his six-month search he also had to face the heart-wrenching decision to have his seriously ill mother’s life support switched off in hospital.
He also cares for his son, Ryan, who needs constant supervision because of a brain disorder.
His courage has been praised by charities who help job seekers get into work, and held up as an example of how even people lacking certain skills can succeed.
Ian added: “It was snowing and rainy and windy and I was still out there trying to find work.”
His long walks, made to help save money by avoiding paying out for public transport, took him from his Clifton home to places including West Bridgford, Arnold, the city centre, Bestwood and Eastwood.
Ian has now found work with Clean Linen, Radford, and was being supported by the Bridges Community Trust while job-hunting.
His employment officer, who’s asked not to be named, was taken aback by the efforts he made.
“He was absolutely desperate, he walked everywhere,” they said.
“If people try like Ian and believe in themselves, then they can get a job. It [a lack of computer skills] is a barrier, but it can be overcome.”
Managing Director of Switch Up & patron of the Bridges Community Trust, Marcellus Baz said: “Ian’s extraordinary efforts to find a job are commendable, he’s a great role model for the younger generation.
“This highlights the need for our older generation, who need more support around computer literacy.”