MORE than 20 people have applied for every job at a new town centre supermarket.
Tesco received 4,000 applications for the 187 jobs up for grabs at its store, which is nearing completion on the old foundry site in Fareham.
The 49,300sq ft supermarket is expected to open on Monday, November 28 at 8am.
It will employ 270 people in total, including 83 staff who have been transferred from other sites.
Andrew Webster, vice chairman for the Southampton and Fareham business board, said: ‘From the Chamber of Commerce’s point of view, it’s fantastic that there’s this many jobs coming into Fareham.
‘But it would be interesting to know the demographics of the applicants – is it young people, or people taking second jobs, or the medium-term unemployed?
‘Whichever you look at it though, it’s not so heartening that there are 4,000 people chasing after 187 positions.’
Tesco worked with the Jobcentreplus to give residents the opportunity to apply for positions at the new store and people were encouraged to apply online. The store carried out more than 800 interviews.
Store manager Jon Roberts said: ‘It’s been incredible and I felt overwhelmed by the level of interest received.
‘We’re thrilled with our new team and happy we’ve managed to create new opportunity for local residents.
‘All the new recruits are undertaking a series of intensive training programmes to prepare them for the new store opening.
‘We are really looking forward to launching the new store and playing an active role in the community.’
The nearby revamped Quay Street roundabout, which is intended to ease congestion in and out of Gosport, is expected to open on November 21.
Tesco has funded the £1.2m project, which is next to the new store, and completing it is a condition of opening the shop. After launch day the store will open from 6am on Mondays and remain open for 24 hours a day until midnight on Saturday. It will then open from 10am until 4pm on Sundays.