There is always something to do.
I'm not looking to get into a Union argument here, but did you apply for any jobs outside of the local?.
As in Apprenticeships?.
Before the Internet, I called a rep daily (while I was a Fire-fighter) to see if there was in fact an opening as an Apprentice.
Turns out I wasted my time.
I shifted towns and almost walked into a job.
Don't wait mate!.
I'm a Line-man/Electrician these days, you think I got that way waiting?.
Get into it!!!.
Let's face it, these days if you're not young, you're old - Red Green