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Word Count: 5,027
The thin end of the wedgeThe Frenchgate shopping centre could be anywhere in England Theres a Superdrug a Carphone Warehouse places selling sportswear But this isnt just anywhere This is Doncaster a town that like many others in this part of Yorkshire has always had a strong sense of identity Or used to until the pits closed On first glance not a lot has changed Maybe there werent so many bargain basement shops in the early 1980s Maybe the concrete of the shopping centre and the multi-storey didnt seem quite so forbidding But on the outskirts of town are boarded-up shops that would once have done a good trade On the other hand there are shiny new metal sculptures in the pedestrianised part of the high street Essentially though its still the same place its heart hemmed in by dual carriageways its fringes a sprawl of council houses and privately owned semis Im pretty sure that life on the minimum wage here will be easier than in London The rent will be lower for a start Im expecting to meet different people too The population is mainly white and indigenous so I expect my new workmates to have grown up here to have support networks of families and friends I cast my eye over the Doncaster Free Press but the jobs pages look a bit thin There arent many positions for people without skills The only two I can see arent local at all - theyre in a more prosperous market town 30 miles away I ring the first which turns out to be packing tomatoes in a salad plant They have just one question do I have my own transport I dont the minimum wage has just gone up from 370 an hour to 410 but I doubt it would support a car The second ad looks more hopeful Temps R Us are recruiting FULL TIME WORKERS for a Multinational Sauce Manufacturer We offer
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