Belfast's Titanic queue for just 250 jobs
With unemployment rates soaring and the economy tipped towards a double-dip recession, it's never been harder to get a job.
The insecurity surrounding the jobs market was evident yesterday when more than 1,200 people attended a jobs fair promoting just 250 posts.
The recruitment drive was aimed at publicising jobs to be advertised for the Titanic Belfast building, which opens next year.
Young and old, school-leavers, graduates and the middle-aged all looked for jobs information.
The new visitor attraction will open at the end of March with around 250 full and part-time jobs up for grabs.
A range of positions will be available, including retail, hospitality, security, technical support, front-of-house and maintenance.
And the desperation in the job market was visible as the Great Hall inside Belfast City Hall quickly filled up when the fair opened at noon.
People lined the stairs and queued to register before entering the main hall - on top of the 800 people who had pre-registered.
More than 1,200 people passed through, a Belfast City Council spokesman said.
Inside they were greeted by stalls from employment advice centres, debt advice, skills training and various Titanic Belfast partners, but the biggest queue was for the building's own table, where chief executive Tim Husbands chatted with applicants.
Titanic Belfast will recruit its staff between mid-December and mid-January to have everyone in place before the March opening.
Many of those who spoke to the Belfast Telegraph said they were finding it difficult to find employment.
Clarendon Executive Recruitment Agency managing partner Ciaran Sheehan said the current jobs market was "quite difficult".
He added: "At the lower end of the market our employers say they get very high numbers of applicants for jobs.
"The downside to that is sometimes people are put off advertising if they find they are getting inundated with applicants."
He said having relevant experience will give hopefuls an edge.
But he said there was hope on the horizon, with more companies recruiting for executive positions.