JOB HUNT: Manager Roz White was stunned at the hundreds of job seekers who turned out at the Bli Bli IGA.
JOB HUNT: Manager Roz White was stunned at the hundreds of job seekers who turned out at the Bli Bli IGA. Warren Lynam

Hundreds scramble for IGA jobs

NURSES and accountants were among hundreds of people to line up for work at an IGA recruitment drive.

Jobseekers as old as 65 filled out applications at the temporary White's IGA Bli Bli store yesterday, hoping to snag one of 70 retail positions that will be available when the new Supa IGA store opens in Bli Bli next month.

The jobs scramble highlights the region's drastic work shortage.

White's IGA owner Roz White said she had been overwhelmed by the number of people who attended the day, and was surprised by the broad variety of backgrounds the applicants had displayed.

"It's older applicants that can't find a job in their field, so they've thought they'd look at the opportunity to be employed in retail, just to be employed," she said.

"What does that say about employment on the Coast? What does that say about industry on the Coast? What does that say about our local economy?

"It does make you worried about how buoyant your local economy is."

Check out other job vacancies on the Sunshine Coast

Mrs White said people who had worked as secretaries, landscapers and in the construction industry had also applied for positions.

"They're all looking for consistency of hours and job security," she said.

Mrs White said the recruitment drive had been a way to engage with the applicants and find the best fit for each position.

"We should have an excellent pool of candidates to select from. It's great to see that kind of response in the community; a willingness to be employed," she said.

"It's just a different way of recruiting people, it engages the people and it gets them involved."

Sunshine Coast Youth Partnership chief executive Lydia Najlepszy said it was important for job seekers to utilise and expand their networks and make their skills known, particularly because the vast majority of businesses on the Coast are small or micro businesses and do not have the resources for exhaustive recruiting procedures. "I'm not surprised they (White's IGA) got the numbers," she said.

The Bli Bli Supa IGA store will open on October 23.

The White's IGA group includes stores in Bli Bli, Mooloolah, Coolum and Rothwell.