A young father-of-three who applied for more than 1,000 jobs is finally back in work after being taken on by Horsforth’s new Subway.

Former mechanic Lee Edwards, 24, from Yeadon, lost his job when the company he worked for ceased trading.

He spent the past two years applying for every vacancy he could find – writing to companies throughout the county in the hope he might get noticed.

Now he has a job, thanks to a partnership between Subway and Ingeus, which delivers the government’s Work Programme in West Yorkshire.

Lee had hoped his skills would stand him in good stead when it came to finding another job.

But he said: “I quickly discovered it wasn’t that easy and that I was just one of thousands of young people who really wanted to work but could not get noticed.

“Being out of work became a vicious circle of relentlessly applying for jobs but being knocked back. What little self-esteem I still had just disappeared.”

The change came when Lee was referred for specialist support. He learned new techniques to use when applying for jobs, where to look for vacancies that really interested him and how to give the best impressions at interviews.

He said: “I want to be a role model for my children – I want them to know working is part of life and that earning a wage through your own efforts is very important.

“Ingeus gave me back my confidence and that’s when I started to believe in myself again.”

Ian and Lara Dawes, who own Guiseley’s Subway and two others in Seacroft and Horsforth, now employ six former Work Programme candidates.

Ian said: “Traditionally we recruited through websites but the availability of people to work in our stores has always been sporadic.

“Through Ingeus we have access to job-ready people all year round. Each Work Programme candidate we see has already been assessed as suitable.”

Lara said: “Despite the tough times he’s been through, Lee has the ability to communicate with everybody who walks in – and he’s a great sandwich maker.”