700 Applicants for Just Six Vacancies; Supermarket Overwhelmed by Jobseekers

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Byline: Andrew Glover

MORE than 700 hopefuls applied for six jobs advertised by a supermarket chain at one of its North East stores.

Waitrose placed advertisements for temporary Christmas jobs in the Newcastle city centre store and was deluged with applications.

The astonishing number of applicants was revealed just days after the latest unemployment statistics were released, showing that unemployment in the North East has risen by 15%, with 13,000 more men and an extra 4,000 women registering to claim benefits between April and June.

Ashley Perrin, personnel manager at Waitrose in the Eldon Square shopping centre, said the store was sifting through 708 applications for the temporary positions.

He said: "We are in the fortunate position to be able to recruit additional staff to help us ensure we maintain our levels of customer service during a busy time of year and have been overwhelmed by the response to our advertisement."

Many public sector organisations have introduced a freeze on recruitment, which is increasing demand on every job that becomes available.

Last night TUC regional secretary Kevin Rowan again stressed the need for Government action to tackle unemployment in the region. …