A LONG-SERVING Woolworth's employee who lost her job when the store went under has landed a job at a new superstore.

Natalie Davey, 38, had been working at the Woolworth's store in High Street, Uxbridge for 22 years when the devastating news began the break that the store was falling victim to the recession.

Ms Davey, a divorced single parent from New Peachey Lane, Cowley, was determined to keep afloat, and was one of the successful applicants out of thousands.

Speaking of the moment she knew she would be made redundant, she said: "It was a big shock, I was in bits, it was so close to Christmas as well."

She was out of work for 15 weeks during which time she visited the Job Centre Plus in Belmont Road, Uxbridge, a short walk from her old place of work.

She attended a presentation specially for those who were made redundant, after which, she spoke to an advisor and expressed her concerns about getting another job, as she felt she did not have much experience.

The job centre called Natalie back, to set up an application form and gave her a mock interview, this helped regain her confidence and self-esteem, and the ultimately the job at Morrison's, in High Street, Yiewsley.

"I was in charge of the children's clothes department at Woolworth's, now I am working 20 hours a week on the health and beauty stand at Morrison's.

"It is very busy, but I am glad to be back in work, the job centre really helped me out."

Natalie, who has a 13 year-old son, is not the only former Woolworth's employee to gain employment at the new supermarket.

"My old boss is here, and there are a couple of other girls here too.

"I still meet up with my old friends from work once a week, we go for dinner and catch up.

"Many have retired because they were at that age and did not fancy looking for another job."

THE Gazette has teamed up with the Department of Work and Pensions to help people back to work, and bring down the escalating scale of unemployment.

Here are the top 10 tips for jobseekers...

Check out the Jobcentre Plus website for information and advice to get your job hunting started – www.jobcentreplus.gov.uk . You can download a free JobKit packed with lots of useful information.

Make sure you have an up to date CV, with information on your skills, abilities and experience. If you haven’t written one before, the Jobcentre Plus website has advice on how to do it.

Get yourself online – almost 8 out of 10 companies now advertise their vacancies on the internet, so make this a key part of your job search. If you don’t have access at home, you could use a local UK online centre (eg in a local library, college or community centre). To find your nearest one, log on to www.ufi.com/ukol or phone 0800 77 1234.

Find out all the other possible vacancy sources in your local area – check out local and national newspapers, for instance. Your local library should have copies of the main ones. And if you’re a Sky or Virgin Media customer, go to DirectGov on digital TV to search for jobs.

Register with some local recruitment agencies. They handle many permanent, temporary, full- and part-time vacancies and can match you to employers who need staff now. Try your local phonebook for their addresses.

Ask your friends and family to look out for jobs for you – they may hear about vacancies where they work, which may not even get advertised.

Don’ be shy about going along to jobsfairs and other recruitment events. They’re an excellent way of meeting employers and may even lead to a job offer on the spot!

Think about approaching local companies yourself to ask if they have any vacancies you could apply for – but do your research first. Make sure you choose companies that are likely to have vacancies (eg because they have just moved to your area), and find out about the type of work they do and how it matches your skills.

Be open minded about what job you might do. For example, if you’ve always had a permanent job up to now, don’t rule out taking a temporary one – it could give you useful experience. Or what about self-employment? There are more than 3 million self-employed people in the UK, and there is support available to help you get your business idea up and running.

Don’t assume you’ll automatically be worse off if you take a lower paid job. You may qualify for in-work benefits that boost your income. Your Jobcentre Plus adviser can give you more information on this.