LIKE many youngsters struggling to find work at the moment, all he wanted was the chance to earn his keep.

And thanks to the Daily Echo, Sydney Hockaday has landed his dream job as a mechanic.

It comes after the 18-year-old was featured in our Give Me A Chance campaign – to help unemployed youngsters get a start on the job market.

We printed his photograph along with his skills and attributes, and it wasn’t long before future employers were contacting the Daily Echo keen to take him on.

Sydney had already gained experience working in his father’s garage, as well as a Level 1 NVQ in engineering from PETA in Havant and a Level 1 NVQ in mechanics from Southampton City College, which helped to impress employers.

The youngster was plucked out of the unemployment ranks when garden and landscaping firm Hambrooks saw his details in the paper and quickly contacted the Daily Echo asking us to put them in touch.

He flew through an interview and trial day with the firm and was offered a 40-hours-a-week job as a trainee workshop mechanic at Hambrooks’ head office in Curdridge.

There Sydney, from Sholing, ensures that all mechanical equipment and machinery is working and suitable to hire.

He said: “It took me ages to get a job so I’m really pleased now I have one.

“It’s the job I wanted to do. I do something different every day.”

Sydney is one of 18 youngsters the company has taken on since the spring. Through his job, he will be sent on a number of training courses, the first of which starts next week.

He said: “I want to thank the Daily Echo for helping me – I wouldn’t have got this job otherwise.”

Linda Grinham, hire shop manager, said: “He has fitted in so effortlessly and is great at what he is doing.”