More than 1,700 desperate job hunters applied for just eight jobs at a new branch of Costa Coffee – highlighting the extent of the employment crisis sweeping Britain, it emerged today.
The chain – which runs more than 1,200 coffee shops across the country – advertised the posts in early December for its new branch in Nottingham.
Since then it has received a staggering 1,701 applications – an average of 212 for each post – including many graduates.
There were three full-time and five part-time positions with wages ranging from £5.40 to £10-an-hour advertised for the branch which is due to open this Friday.
Sham Ramparia, Costa’s area manager for the Midlands, said there had been “wave” of applications from people previously employed by HMV, which went into administration last month, and Clinton Cards, which went bust last year.
He said: “It just shows how hard times are these days.
“There have been a lot of good, high-calibre applicants, some with ten to 15 years of experience, who are now looking for work because of big companies going into administration.”
The TUC said the levels of applicants was indicative of the employment crisis gripping the nation.
TUC General Secretary Frances O’Grady said: “These figures show just how desperate people are for any kind of work.
“Ministers claim there are plenty of jobs out there but the reality is that there are far more people chasing those jobs.
“That’s why rather than demonising unemployed people as scroungers we need to get the economy growing and support them into work.
“A great start would a job guarantee for any young person out of work for at least six months.”
Gerwyn Davies, labour market adviser for the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development (CIPD) added: “With so few jobs for such a large number of applicants, it is a very tough environment for jobseekers.
“However, our quarterly Labour Market Outlook finds many private sector employers across the country still planning to create jobs in the coming months, so there will be plenty more opportunities for unsuccessful applicants to go for.
“Job seekers need to keep their heads up, and keep looking for ways to stand out from the crowd in a competitive jobs market.”
Among the new team is Heather Davies, 25, of Sherwood, Notts, currently being trained to be a “barista maestro” at a nearby branch.
Miss Davies said she considered herself “incredibly lucky” to be taken on.
She said: “I’m really happy here.
“This is the perfect job for me. I hope the training to be assistant manager will be completed by May.
“More responsibility is exactly what I’ve always wanted. I always want to better myself.”
Steven Tomlinson, 25, from Aspley, Notts., has already completed two days of training at Costa’s Long Eaton branch and will start his new role as part-time barista on Friday.
He added: “I’m really excited. I’m hoping to be made full-time staff at Costa soon.”