A STAGGERING 600 people converged on South Shields Town Hall yesterday to battle it out for just 60 jobs at the borough’s world-renowned Barbour factory.
Queues snaked out of the Westoe Road building and onto the street, so great was the demand to work at the Simonside plant in South Shields.
The incredible response came as no surprise to Coun Ed Malcolm, South Tyneside Council’s lead member for resources and innovation.
He said: “When I arrived, there was already a queue up the stairwell and outside the door. Hopefully this will put pay to the myth that people don’t want to work.”
The new jobs are desperately needed with a 7.9 per cent jobless rate in the borough.
But the fair also attracted applicants from across the North East.
Barbour is looking to recruit more than 60 new staff as a result of the success and expansion of the brand.
The jobs up for grabs include 20 machinists, in addition to warehouse workers and customer service staff.
The company is also starting up a new production line to keep up with demand for its iconic waxed jackets.
Jobseekers had a chance to chat to staff, fill in application forms and applicants with previous experience were even able to undergo a machine test.
Coun Michael Clare, the council’s lead member regeneration and economy, said: “The Barbour jobs fair highlights the enthusiasm the local workforce has for local jobs.
“We congratulate Barbour for their continued commitment to South Tyneside and its residents.”
Matt Gillard, training and development manager with Barbour, said: “People have been applying for all three roles and I am confident that we will be able to fill the 60 positions.”
Applicants can still apply at www.barbour.com/careers.