An engineering firm has been ‘overwhelmed’ after it received 15,000 applications for just 10 jobs on a new assembly line.
Lontra is opening the new line in Tyseley, Birmingham, later this year, assembling industrial machines from components manufactured across the UK.
Now, as the scramble for jobs intensifies amid coronavirus closures, the firm attracted 15,000 applicants for just 10 new roles.
Steve Smith-Howes, of recruitment agency Glue Resourcing, said: ‘This is an unprecedented volume of applications for a job posting even accounting for the recession triggered by Covid-19.
‘Although roles with fast-growth manufacturing firms such as Lontra are seen as highly attractive, reflecting the world class skills and ambitions of the local workforce, I’ve never known anything like it in 30 years of recruitment.’
Lontra is opening the new line in Tyseley, Birmingham and attracted 15,000 applications for just 10 roles
Lontra opened the UK’s first Greenfield high value manufacturing centre in Napton, Warwickshire last September
Steve Lindsey, Lontra’s chief executive, said: ‘A buoyant software sector is of real value to the UK, but it will be outliers such as ourselves that transform the UK’s manufacturing and construction sectors.
‘Manufacturing and exports create a strong bedrock for an economy, delivering productive and rewarding jobs that people are proud of. It is these jobs that we should be investing in as a country.’
It comes after 484 hopefuls applied for two £9-an-hour positions at the Alexandra pub in Wimbledon, southwest London.
General manager Mick Dore posted an advert for the roles on Twitter and was staggered by the response.
He later wrote: ‘I don’t want to alarm anyone about the economy or anything, but I advertised two bar jobs at 4.30 on Thursday. We’ve had well over 400 applicants. Gulp.’
Mr Dore, 53, said he would usually have expected about a dozen replies from younger jobseekers who have done less bar work.
He said on this occasion there were CVs sent from experienced show workers, ex-air stewards and restaurant managers who had lost their jobs amid the Covid-19 crisis.
As many as 484 hopefuls applied for two £9-an-hour positions at the Alexandra pub in Wimbledon, southwest London
General manager Mick Dore (pictured) posted an advert for the roles on Twitter and was staggered by the response
Mr Dore ended up taking on six workers due to the high-quality of applicants.
The Fitzrovia Belle Pub and Hotel in central London had a similar experience, with 400 people applying for a handful of jobs.
A third of firms plan to lay off staff in the next three months
Almost a third of UK firms plan to lay off staff over the next three months in a further sign of the coronavirus pandemic’s devastating impact on Britain’s job market, according to a report.
The British Chambers of Commerce (BBC) quarterly recruitment outlook reveals that 29 per cent of 7,400 firms surveyed expect to axe jobs over the third quarter – a record high for the study.
The report – compiled in conjunction with Totaljobs – found that 28 per cent of firms polled had already cut roles between April and June.
The study also showed that 41 per cent of large companies and 41% of small and medium-sized firms expect to cut staff over the next quarter, with 18% of micro businesses forecasting workforce reductions.
Recruitment also ground to a halt, with just 25 per cent of firms looking to take on new hires in another grim record for the report.
General anager Rob Fisher, 40, told the Sunday Times: ‘The quality of people looking for work right now is as good as it ever has been. Unfortunately it’s because of the situation people have found themselves in.’
The news is reflected across the country, with bosses seeing a huge influx of applicants for entry-level jobs that would usually be unpopular.
It comes as figures revealed that the number of people employed fell by another 74,000 last month with 2.6million on benefits.
Some 650,000 fewer are on the payroll than before the crisis after another 0.3 per cent reduction between May and June, according to official figures.
Vacancies are at a record low and hours have also tumbled, the Office for National Statistics data show. The claimant count has risen by 112.2 per cent, or 1.4million, since March.
However, the massive furlough and self-employed support schemes appear to be masking the scale of the issues. Rishi Sunak said the government’s response was ‘protecting millions of people from unemployment’.
A separate survey by the British Chambers of Commerce has found that a third of firms are planning to lay off staff over the next three months.
The high street has faced the brunt of the hardship, with retail giants such as John Lewis, Clarks and Pizza Express announcing a wave of job cuts.
Reports also suggest that Marks & Spencer will axe hundreds of staff within days in the first wave of a cull that will hit thousands of workers.
The ONS said unemployment fell 17,000 between March and May to 1.35million, with the rate unchanged at 3.9 per cent.
Experts said this masked a fall in employment, down 126,000 in the quarter to 32.95 million, with the rate dropping to 76.4 per cent.
With 9.4million people on furlough classed as employed, the true impact is expected to only be shown after the current support scheme ends in October.
Vacancies for April to June were at the lowest level since the figures started being compiled in 2001, at 333,000.
Some 650,000 fewer are on the payroll than before the crisis, according to official figures
The total number of hours worked in the UK hit a record low in March-May, according to the latest figures
The respected NIESR think-tank added projections to the ONS figures, suggesting that annual pay in the private sector is tumbling while in the public sector it is rising
That was 23 per cent lower than the previous record low after the credit crunch in 2009.
Pay has also been hit hard by the crisis, dropping 0.3 per cent in the three months to May compared to the same period last year. Accounting for inflation, that is equivalent to a 1.3 per cent reduction.
Jonathan Athow, deputy national statistician at the Office for National Statistics (ONS), said: ‘As the pandemic took hold, the labour market weakened markedly, but that rate of decline slowed into June, though this is before recent reports of job losses.
‘There are now almost two-thirds of a million fewer employees on the payroll than before the lockdown, according to the latest tax data.
‘The Labour Force Survey is showing only a small fall in employment, but shows a large number of people who report working no hours and getting no pay.’
He added: ‘There are now far more out-of-work people who are not looking for a job than before the pandemic.’
Business Secretary Alok Sharma said the situation was going to be ‘very, very difficult for lots of people’.
‘I think the best thing we can do is continue to open up the economy in a phased manner, a cautious manner, and get businesses up and running again,’ he told BBC Radio 4’s Today programme.