400 people apply for 10 Costa jobs
FOUR hundred people applied for just 10 jobs at Gloucester's latest Costa coffee shop, which opened yesterday.
The branch at King's Walk shopping centre filled every table at lunchtime as people piled in for coffee.
But the number of city residents who applied to work there was even greater.
Manager Jamie Stewart, 29, said: "It was quite incredible. I had to somehow narrow down 400 applications to just 100.
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"I did 100 phone interviews and put 20 people up for a trial and from there we selected 10 people.
"The amount of interest has been staggering."
The five-week recruitment process culminated in yesterday's opening, which was heralded a big success for the national firm.
Mr Stewart added: "There is a huge footfall of people in this area so we are going to be very busy in the mornings and afternoons.
"We have been really busy today. There's hardly a table to spare. We had a trial run the day before by inviting our friends and family to come in and have a coffee."
It comes just two days after Asda announced they had hundreds of applicants for 160 jobs at their new Kingsway supermarket and 500 people applied for 120 jobs at Churchdown's new Tesco.
It has sparked fresh fears that the jobs market is still fragile, especially for young people.
Amy Edwards, 21, from Quedgeley, said: "It's so difficult finding work, even as a graduate. You drop in your CV to places and they don't even respond to you."
Mark Gale, chief executive of the Gloucestershire Gateway Trust, has been running employment advice sessions ahead of the opening of a new M5 service station in June 2014. He said: "We recognise the value of local jobs and that is why we are keen to get our project going as quickly as possible. It could create up to 300 jobs when complete."
Labour politicians point to labour market statistics which they say reveal an upward trend in youth unemployment in Gloucester with nearly 900 young people without a job – a rise of seven per cent on the last quarter.
Sophy Gardner, the party's parliamentary candidate for the city, said: "Our young people are feeling desolate and worrying about their future. There is simply not enough work to go round."
But help is at hand, says Gloucester MP Richard Graham, who runs regular jobs fairs in the city.
His next fair is to take place on October 31. There will be information on jobs with local firms, the Armed Forces and apprenticeships.
Careers advice for students will also be available at the event which will take place from 11am until 4pm at Gloucester Academy.
Unemployment figures for the county show 120 extra people found work last month.
In total, the county jobless figure was 8,926, which was a year-on-year drop of 1,384.