Thousands of job hunters queued for three hours in a bid to get one of just 40 jobs on offer at the Aldi budget supermarket chain.
The job hunters queued up at the store in Bridgnorth, Shropshire, at 10am on Friday to wait for the interviews, which started at 1pm. The astonishing scene shows how Britain's current job crisis means despite falling unemployment, four people are still fighting for every vacancy.
A mother-of-two who had queued since 10am was reported saying that it "looked more like auditions for X-Factor, not a job for Aldi."
She added: “I had to wait three hours, but it was relief when I saw how many people really did turn up. I couldn’t believe it.
“Hopefully I got the job, but you never know, with over a thousand people there it is hard to judge. I don’t know if being one of the first was an advantage or not.
“I need this job to keep paying the bills and keep everything ticking over, including feeding my two children and getting them new school uniforms.”
The scenes at Aldi are not unique, after 1,700 applied for eight jobs at a new Costa Coffee shop in Nottingham. Despite the huge number of applications, employment minister Esther McVey still urged young people to be "realistic" about their abilities and apply for jobs at the chain.
A teenager, who joined the queue at midday outside Aldi, said: “I walked right up to the store and then noticed the queue - and my heart sank. I walked to the back and it just went on and on, I didn’t think it would ever stop.
“Before I got there I thought I would have a good chance of getting the job, but when I saw all those people I lost hope a bit.
“It is hard for young people like myself to get a job, there just isn’t the opportunities out there and people don’t want to give you a chance. I went for this job because you have to take what you can get, like I said, the opportunities are limited.”
Each jobseeker was given a mini-interview with management teams from Aldi branches before handing in their CV and contact details. The 40 positions on offer were split between West Midlands’ stores in Dudley, Stourbridge, Halesowen, Brierley Hill and Netherton.
Aldi area manager Leon Donald, said: “A previous event similar to this attracted around 1,500 people so we knew this event would be well-attended.”