AT least 2,000 people are believed to have already applied for the 450 jobs advertised for the Asda store at Edenderry.
The recruitment process got under way on Monday with people invited to apply for a full range of full and part-time positions.
At Monday night’s meeting of Craigavon Borough Council, it was stated that the company was gearing itself up for 2,000 applications.
Councillor Robert Smith said that the expectation had been exceeded. “It’s a wonderful boost for Portadown and the result of a lot of hard work by many people,” he said.
The store manager of Asda Portadown Robert Ryans said he was delighted by the initial response to the job opportunities and to Asda’s wider plans for the area.
He said, “This is the first Asda store to open in the area and we’re delighted by the excitement and level of anticipation building in the local area. We’re delighted to be able to offer the people of Portadown and beyond the chance to become part of our award-winning team and look forward to becoming a valued part of the local community.”
All new employees at the Portadown store will undergo Asda’s bespoke training programme. Details and application forms for all positions are available from Asda’s website www.asda.jobs or from www.jobcentreonline.com. Jobs & Benefits offices throughout Northern Ireland will also have details on the range of positions available and can offer useful help and advice on the application process.
Employment and Learning Minister, Dr Stephen Farry, who has met with senior representatives of the company, described the jobs boost as good news for jobseekers.
The Minister said, “I welcome Asda’s commitment to recruit 450 new employees in Portadown.
“This is a substantial number of jobs being created by an international company and is excellent news for the local economy. Asda deserves praise for their commitment to not only create jobs but invest in staff too.
“One of my Department’s primary aims is to prepare people for work - helping individuals to acquire jobs, including self-employment, helping employers to fill vacancies, and improving the linkages between employment programmes and skills development. An active and vigorous labour market is a key element in growing a dynamic, innovative economy and promoting social inclusion, whilst meeting individuals’ and employers’ aspirations.”
For the first time, Asda will trial its new Work Placement Scheme which it plans to roll out across NI over the coming months. Fully accredited by City & Guilds the Scheme offers anyone who is currently unemployed the chance to gain four weeks fully supervised work experience. Anyone who completes the Scheme will also be guaranteed inclusion in the selection process for a permanent position in the new store.
Upper Bann MP David Simpson said, “This much needed investment in the Edenderry area is something that I have kept a very close eye on at every stage and have lobbied hard for.”
“This latest announcement that Asda has now commenced the recruiting process for 450 jobs at the Edenderry site will be welcomed across the whole Craigavon area. It is the latest welcome step in what is hoped will be the rejuvenation of Edenderry What has long been hoped for by way of real development, regeneration and revitalisation in the area is now beginning to take shape.”