Belfast Telegraph

Wednesday 22 October 2014

11,000 chasing 450 jobs in new Northern Ireland Asda superstore

ASDA has received an astonishing 11,000 applications for 450 jobs at its new store in Co Armagh.

The number of applications for jobs at the Portadown store has set a new record of applicants for the company.

In 2010 the Antrim store at Junction One received 8,000 job applications when it held its recruitment drive.

The 24-hour store in Edenderry, Portadown, will open in November and is Asda’s 17th store in Northern Ireland, bringing its workforce here to about 5,000.

The recruitment campaign for new employees began three-and-a-half weeks ago and the company was inundated.

It prompted a remarkable response from jobseekers in Portadown and surrounding areas seeking full and part-time positions.

General store manager at the Portadown branch Robert Ryans said: “We’re completely astounded by the sheer volume of applications we have received.

“We predicted that around 2,000 people would apply, but we were utterly amazed when the numbers stretched to the 11,000 mark.

“We’re delighted that our standing as a company, which is committed to our colleagues and the communities we serve, has helped us to develop a strong and positive reputation and continues to help us attract the very best people.”

Ulster Bank chief economist Richard Ramsey said: “The ratio of applicants to the number of jobs is extremely high but not unexpected with the job losses we have seen to date and the lack of opportunities elsewhere.

“What we are seeing here with the lack of opportunities — people are going to have to shift down jobs.

“If there wasn’t a recession they wouldn’t be considering these jobs.”

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