Nearly all 400 jobs created for a new Tesco supermarket have been taken – plus 50 extra roles which the company has created to cover the Christmas period.
Bosses say they are no longer inviting applicants to apply for the vacancies at the store in the £50 million redeveloped Crown Centre in Stourbridge, which is due to open on October 31. Any few positions they have left will be taken from the thousand applicants they now have on their records, according to Sadie Griffiths who will be the manager of the long-awaited supermarket.
Workers applied online, through a jobs fair in Cradley Heath organised by Halesowen MP James Morris and via a partnership Tesco has with Job Centre Plus and Dudley Council for long-term unemployed people.
Mrs Griffiths, who lives in Cradley Heath and moved from a Tesco Extra in Telford, said: “We had 400 positions and, apart from a couple, we have all but filled them – any we have left will be taken from the applicants we have had already.
“We have also taken on an extra 50 people for shifts over Christmas.
“This is a really exciting time for me and the staff. We hope our staff and range of goods attracts people to the town, who will also go on and use other shops here.”
On Friday, 98 newly-appointed staff attended a workers graduation event at the Town Hall, which is also within the Crown Centre development.
They listened to talks by the Mayor of Dudley councillor Alan Finch and Mrs Griffiths. Mrs Griffiths said: “It was important for us to employ locally. Our customers said they wanted that, they like to enter their local shop and see people within their community and hear the local dialect.”
Among those to be employed was Marcus Lavender, a singer who has auditioned for Britain’s Got Talent twice and he performed at the graduation ceremony.
Mr Lavender, aged 20, of Queens Cross in Dudley, said: “I had been unemployed for a long-time – I didn’t have much experience and people didn’t take the chance with me, so I’m pleased this has come up and look forward to starting.”
Matthew Hutchins, aged 22, of Bank Street in Brierley Hill, had previously worked at Asda – but had been unemployed since for two years. He said: “Everyone is excited for the opening now.”