A JOB advertisement for caretaker positions at two West Limerick secondary schools attracted in excess of 400 applications, it is understood.
The overwhelming response to the County Limerick VEC’s advertisement for caretakers at the Desmond College in Newcastle West and Hazelwood College in Dromcollogher further highlights the stark reality of unemployment in Limerick.
Informed sources have confirmed that the job advertisement, which was published on the VEC website on January 11, attracted a staggering response, primarily from tradesmen and others who were previously employed in the construction industry.
It was initially thought that as many as 700 applications were made, but the real number is thought to be closer to 400 as there are understood to have been dozens of duplicate applications.
Sean Burke, head of the VEC, said that they had received a “considerable” amount of applications.
Officials with the VEC HR department were not available for comment this Wednesday, as interviews were taking place with short listed candidates.
Commenting on the number of applications, Cllr Jerome Scanlan said that “if this were five years ago, I suspect they would have had trouble filling these positions in the first place. People are looking for secure employment, and that’s what these positions are. They’re very secure, important roles in the local community.”
Cllr Scanlan added that the level of unemployment in West Limerick was a relic of the Fianna Fail-led governments which “allowed Castlemahon, Kantoher and Dresden to close” at a direct and in-direct cost of “close to 2,000 jobs”.
Cllr Michael Collins of Fianna Fail said that the number of applications was “symptomatic” of the ongoing jobs issue.
“I think nearly everyone out of work around applied for it. It’s symptomatic of the times we’re in, I’m afraid. But it’s good that people are still applying for jobs and are keen to get back into work.