MORE than 450 job seekers packed out a jobs fair in Portsmouth – with many applicants coming from the soon-to-close Knight & Lee store in Southsea.
The event, run by company The Job Fairs, was held at the Guildhall on Wednesday and featured more than 22 recruiters, businesses, and organisations. The company has held 12 job fairs in Portsmouth since 2015, with today’s being its busiest yet.
Laura Patrick, local partnership manager at Tesco, said: ‘It’s been interesting to see the number of people coming from John Lewis and different companies that are making people redundant.
‘There’s been quite a few people specifically saying, “I’ve worked in retail for more than 30 years and I’m going to be made redundant in July.”
‘It’s good for them to see a light at the end of the tunnel.’
John Lewis store Knight & Lee is due to close in July this year, with 127 jobs set to be lost.
Ben Hanvey 31, business development manager at White Recruitment in Hilsea, said redundancies had been the cause for many people looking for work.
He said: ‘The biggest challenge in employment today is that everybody is employed.
‘There’s less unemployment than there has ever been, and there’s this group of people who still have to find jobs.’
Aaron Jones, 22, event organiser at The Job Fairs, said: ‘Most companies here can’t believe how busy it’s been.
‘Some of them have given out all their material with an hour and half to go.
‘Both floors have been packed all day.’
Recruiters included the Royal Navy, NHS Southern Health, Apex Prime Care, and numerous recruitment agencies.
Nicky Perry, 25 who was looking for a career change, said: ‘When you’re at home and you know you need to make a change, it can be overwhelming.
‘But coming here, it opens so many doors for you.’