Huge response for Palmers’ job offer

PUBLISHED: 17:33 22 January 2011

MORE than 400 job-seekers competed for two part-time coffee-shop jobs at a Great Yarmouth department store this week – providing an “eye-opening” snapshot of the current employment scene.

Palmers was forced to close applications early, such was the response to the advert in the Mercury and Advertiser – reckoned the largest in the store’s 170-year plus history.

It comes as new figures reveal that 5.8pc of Yarmouth’s working age population are on Jobseeker’s Allowance – by far the highest rate of any local authority in the East of England.

Meanwhile the number of people claiming unemployment benefits in Great Yarmouth rose by 204 to 3,465 in December. The percentage of men on Jobseeker’s Allowance is 8.5pc compared to 3.2pc of women.

Office manager at Palmers Sharon Heggie said they would still be handing out application forms today for the washer-upper and coffee room assistant had they not brought the deadline forward after the number topped a staggering 400.

“We were absolutely inundated. The phone was ringing off the hook. In the end we closed it on the Saturday afternoon. By that point we had already given out 400 application forms.

“It is something I have never seen or experienced in the 10 years I have been here. We just could not cope with it. It was absolutely overwhelming. Normally 100 would be an amazing amount.

“I rang the Jobcentre asking them to stop sending people but they had not been sending any.

“We have never put that many hours in on the telephone. At some point we just had to draw a line under it.”

She said a minority of applicants were looking to fulfil jobseeker criteria to boost their benefit claim but that most were keen and willing to roll up their sleeves and work.

Mrs Heggie said the applications had come from a broad range of people from school-leavers to older workers looking to top up their pensions, all of whom were enthusiastic about the 26-hour and 18-hour roles.

“It is probably the most major response we have ever seen in Palmer’s 170-odd history. It certainly was eye-opening.”

Palmers director Stuart McGee said that because the company was overrun with applications it would be unable to thank everyone individually, adding he was grateful for all the responses.

Personnel manager Jean Elam said: “I have been delighted with the response and the calibre of the applicants.”

It is understood around 30 applicants may be selected for interview.

Log on to for job vacancies in this area.

Other News

Yesterday, 19:00

More than one in ten people of working age in Great Yarmouth and Waveney are now on Universal Credit amid fears the wider roll out will have severe consequences.

Yesterday, 17:16

Sky-high fares, an unreliable service, and cheaper alternative transport options are all being blamed for a significant drop in rail passengers in Great Yarmouth over the last five years.

Yesterday, 16:18

A Second World War hero’s desperation to return to his ailing hotel business has been revealed after a letter was found in an attic, more than 73 years later.

Yesterday, 14:52

A case of life imitating Photoshop will see the overhead power lines in a scenic Norfolk village removed to improve the view.

Most Read

Mon, 18:00

School trips usually involve taking children to see one of Shakespeare’s great plays or visiting a historic museum.

Read more

Plans for a former pub to be turned into a luxury tobacconist have been put under fire by a nearby health centre, with bosses arguing it would “give out entirely the wrong message”.

Read more
Mon, 11:42

Would you like to play a major part in restoring one of Great Yarmouth’s most historic tourist attractions to its former glory?

Read more
Great Yarmouth Borough Council
Tue, 14:29

The inquest into the death of a three-year-old girl who died after being thrown from an inflatable trampoline on Gorleston beach has been adjourned because a police report into the incident is not ready.

Read more
Mon, 09:21

A joyrider was arrested after crashing into a traffic bollard - and was found to be more than three times the legal driving limit when police breathalysed him.

Read more
Great Yarmouth police

Local Weather

Partly Cloudy

Partly Cloudy

max temp: 6°C

min temp: 4°C

Hot Jobs

Show Job Lists

Digital Edition


Enjoy the Great
Yarmouth Mercury

e-edition today


Newsletter Sign Up

Great Yarmouth Mercury weekly newsletter
Sign up to receive our regular email newsletter

Our Privacy Policy