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Worcester firm offers 50 jobs - and gets no applications
10:43am Friday 11th October 2013 in News
A COMPANY looking to fill 50 vacancies at a Worcester factory was astounded when not one person came forward.
Recruitment agency Consistent Personnel offered 50 positions at a food factory but received no enquiries, despite job figures in September showing more than 2,000 people claiming Jobseeker’s Allowance in Worcester.
Danny James, owner of the agency, has spoken of his disbelief that staff at the city’s job centre could not find him a single jobseeker for the work after he put in a request on Wednesday.
Though he declined to confirm the name of the business involved, your Worcester News believes the jobs were on offer at Senoble – formerly Elisabeth the Chef – in Lower Broadheath, near Worcester.
However, a job centre source said the problem was the “very short timescale” given to find people for a night shift.
Mr James, 29-year-old owner of the Sidbury-based recruitment business which opened in May, needed the people for the jobs by 5pm – for a 5pm to 1am shift – on Wednesday.
Agency staff contacted the Jobcentre in Worcester by telephone at about 12.20pm to see if they could supply people for the warehouse work, which would last from now through the Christmas period.
The firm then followed up the call with an e-mail at 12.41pm with more details about the jobs.
Inductions for the Monday-to-Friday roles were due to begin at 5pm that day, before the shift.
The factory is described by recruiters as being a 15-minute walk from St John’s or Dines Green.
The e-mail had a telephone number supplied for jobseekers to contact the agency.
The job is about eight hours a day – 35 hours a week – for three months over the Christmas period, paying £6.31 per hour.
Mr James said he managed to get 10 people himself by using his contacts, records and by calling friends, claiming he had effectively had to act as a Jobcentre himself to get people to fill at least some of the positions.
“People need no skills whatsoever,” he said.
“It’s the most simple cake-packing, box-stacking position. My three-year-old daughter could do it. But not one person has rung me up. It’s a disgrace. Everybody should know. People who pay their taxes will be so disappointed in that.
“There is work and it is beyond me why nobody has rung me. They couldn’t even get me one person. It’s unbelievable.
“I see so many people hanging around on street corners, people outside the job centre smoking and then something like this comes up where I need just 50 people old enough to work in a factory.
"It’s beyond me that they can’t even get one person from the job centre. It is so very frustrating.
The only conditions are that they have to be over 18 and have a national insurance number and no criminal convictions. You don’t need any experience whatsoever.”
Mr James said he had spoken to a member of staff at the centre and she had sent an email to all her colleagues saying staff were needed urgently for the factory work.
Robin Walker, MP for Worcester, said: “It seems disappointing that there aren’t people prepared to take those jobs.
“You would have thought there would have been a reasonable amount of take-up given the number of people out of work.”
A Department for Work and Pensions spokesman said the short notice of the shifts meant staff were unable to fill the roles.
“Every day Jobcentre Plus staff up and down the country are successfully helping employers fill their vacancies and get people into work,” he said.
“On this occasion, however the very short timescale given by the agency and the need for jobseekers to be available to work the night shift, that same day, meant we were unable to help on this occasion."
Yesterday, the job centre managed to find Mr James one worker out of the 50 he asked for.