Hundreds flock to bakery jobs

KINGSTON, Jamaica – More than 600 persons turned up to be interviewed to fill 10 vacancies at The Captain’s Bakery and Grill on Half-Way Tree Road, St Andrew, yesterday, in the wake of the job crunch gripping the country.

Motorists slowed down at the local eatery on seeing the large crowd, thinking there was a strike at the company.

Andrene Thomas, one of the job seekers, was interviewed at 1 p.m., having arrived at the establishment 8 a.m.

“I will do anything,” said the woman who travelled from Portmore, St Catherine.

“I am a very good cashier and I’m an excellent cook,” she added.

During 2008, more than 8,000 people lost their jobs after their positions were made redundant in various sectors, including transport, manufacturing, agriculture and telecommunications.

Pearnel Charles, labour and social security minister, last week warned of more job cuts for this year in light of a global financial meltdown.

Yesterday, one of the job seekers said he was willing to wipe floors, as long as he would be paid.

Another prospect, Chris-Ann Bowes, who has been certified by the HEART Trust/NTA in hospitality and tourism industry, just wanted a job.

“You have a job can give me?” she asked The Gleaner team.

The hundreds of persons responded to an advertisement posted in local newspapers by the bakery to fill positions of chefs, clerks and equipment operators.

Persons of various backgrounds stood in the sun waiting to be interviewed. Some were teenagers, and some were their seniors dressed in suits, or jeans; and some had bright-coloured hairdos.

Captain Horace Burrell, the proprietor of Captain’s Bakery, said about 10 staff members were pulled from their regular duties to help with the interviews.

He said he never expected to see so many applicants.

There may be good news for some of the shortlisted persons, as Burrell said, based on the response, some of the qualified persons would be asked to fill required posts at the bakery’s other locations.