UTTOXETER’S lack of job seekers is leaving the town’s racecourse struggling to fill their vacancies.
It was reported last week there are just 34 people claiming jobseekers’ allowance (JSA) in Uttoxeter.
While this represents a remarkable turnaround for the town that saw four high street shops go to the wall last year, not everyone is celebrating.
Uttoxeter Racecourse employs more than 100 people each year in casual roles and will hold recruitment days on August 19 and 21 from 530pm to 7:30pm and August 23 from 10am to 2pm.
But executive director David Macdonald is concerned at the lack of available candidates.
He said: “In our first lot of staff we take on for casual vacancies, we take on over 100 local kids.
“But then you get Alton Towers opening and Asda taking people on and we’re left with about 50.
“We’re all competing in a market where there’s only 34 people available.
“Uttoxeter’s not a big town for the amount of industry that’s going on here, which is a fantastic thing in so many ways.
“But, speaking as a business owner, it’s going to become increasingly difficult to source local staff.
“We may be forced to get people in from outside of town and, when you factor in the transport cost for the commute, Burton’s probably about as far as we’ll be able to go.
“The Uttoxeter workers we’ve had have been fantastic and done brilliantly with their training in a variety of roles.
“So there’s great quality but we’re lacking quantity, especially when a lot of the young people who take these roles are going to university.”
Mr Macdonald said he welcomed the promise of new homes in Uttoxeter in the coming years.
The St Modwen development on land west of town promises to bring 2,800 new residents into Uttoxeter, which currently has a population of around 13,000.
And some of them may be needed by Waitrose when it opens a new store in Uttoxeter town centre next year.
Mr Macdonald said: “I wonder whether Waitrose will face these problems when they open.”
Racecourse vacancies include front of house assistants in the bar, catering and hospitality teams.
There are also roles for front of house team leaders and supervisors for the same teams.
The course is also seeking cellar co-ordinators and kitchen porters.