Three-hour queue for 1,500 candidates for just 40 Aldi jobs

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The queue

An Aldi in Bridgnorth, Shropshire, had advertised 40 jobs at stores in the area. Candidates were invited to attend at 1pm for a mini-interview, before handing their CV and an application form into the store. Candidates were queuing from 10am - and in all 1,500 people showed up.

It's not the only entry-level job that has seen an extraordinary turn-out.

The Mirror reported that the applicants had flocked for stock and store assistant positions with a minimum of 20 hours a week, which don't sound like the kinds of roles that are in enormous demand.

Not the first

However it's not the first time that an employer has been inundated with applications for a job at this level. The store manager told The Telegraph that a similar Aldi recruitment event in the area had attracted 1,500 people, so they were expecting a lot of interest.

Meanwhile, last month a Nottingham branch of Costa Coffee got 1,701 applications for eight barista jobs. The top wage an applicant can hope for in this role is £7.15 an hour.

In January Asda in Sheffield received more than 2,500 applications for 300 jobs at the store - only 225 of which were full-time.

In 2011 when Primark opened in Edinburgh, there were 4,500 applications for 557 positions at the store. It wasn't the first time that the brand had phenomenal interest either - two years earlier an incredible 14,000 people applied for just 420 jobs at a new store in Bristol.

Why?

There are plenty of theories as to why these jobs are in demand. There's the fact that so many big retailers have gone under, leaving retail employees looking for work. There's the dearth of jobs requiring no formal qualifications in the modern workplace, and there's the fact that these brands have a strong reputation which offers a security that's hard to come by.

However, one major clue as to why there are so many applicants comes from Centre Parcs, which said last month that it had received 11,000 applications for 1,500 jobs at its new holiday village in Bedfordshire. Two out of five new recruits were under the age of 24.

Applicants are not exclusively young people, but a large percentage of them are. This group has suffered particularly badly in the recession. The jobless rate among 16 and 17-year-olds is 36% and among 18-24-year-olds it is 18%. That compares to a rate of just 5% among 35-49-year-olds. Any job that offers an opportunity for young people to work in a comfortable atmosphere and for a company with a strong reputation is therefore bound to be over-run with applicants.

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