MORE than 100 people applied for each job at a new Tesco due to open in Southall this month.
Some 800 people applied for just eight jobs at the Tesco Express store in King Street, near the junction with Hammond Road.
The store’s manager, Sahil Ralhan, said he was thrilled by the response to the recruitment drive.
But youth mentor Onkar Singh Ghatore said that, far from being good news, it was another troubling sign of the area’s depressed economy which is hitting young people the hardest.
Mr Ghatore has run martial arts classes and provided counselling and other support in schools across Southall for 35 years.
He said: "I’ve got students with degrees but who have been out of work for many years. Others have taken jobs which are nothing in line with what they studied for. It affects families when young people can’t find a job for a long time.
"When they finish a degree or a diploma or high school there is pressure to find a job. They are expected to help out with the bills and are told they’re not looking hard enough for a job. These kids are switched on, they know what to do but you can’t throw a line into the water and catch something if there aren’t any fish. It’s affecting people mentally.
“Back when I was at Featherstone High School I won an apprenticeship but there doesn’t seem so much of that around now. You’ve got people doing degrees coming out and saying employers tell them they haven’t got the experience. But how can they get the experience if they aren’t getting jobs?
"They’re told at school that if they study hard they will find a job but that doesn’t apply any more and there doesn’t seem to be enough help from either national or local government.”