Up to 600 jobs are on offer at today’s jobs and skills fair for Rushden Lakes.
People were queuing from 9.20am this morning (Friday) to be the first through the doors at the recruitment event at the Pemberton Centre in Rushden.
The jobs fair opened at 10am and runs until 4pm today.
Recruiting retailers at the event include Marks & Spencer, Next, Accessorize, Kurt Geiger, Clarks, Schuh, Paperchase and Mountain Warehouse.
Also attending the event is JD Sports.
Paul Hutchinson, regional training manager for the sports chain, said: “There’s a lot more people here than I expected.
“It has been really busy and the people that we have been seeing have got good experience, a good range of skills and lots of promise.” Paul said they are looking to recruit about 35 staff for the new Rushden Lakes store, and added: “We are recruiting right from the bottom to the top.
“We are looking for part-time and full-time sales staff as well as people with management experience.”
Paul said today’s event was busier than a similar event they held for a new JD Sports store at Meadowhall in Sheffield, and added: “This is a lot busier than previous ones I have done.
“This is two or three times busier.”
The Wildlife Trust, which is opening a visitor centre at Rushden Lakes, was at the event as well as Stagecoach, which will be running four bus services to and from the site just off the A45 at Rushden.
The event was organised by Rushden Lakes and The Crown Estate, the owners of Rushden Lakes, in partnership with Jobcentre Plus.
Faheem Qureshi, head of employment generation at The Crown Estate, said he was really pleased with the number of people at the event, especially with so many queuing to be the first through the doors to meet prospective employers.
He said: “We want people to walk out of here with a job.
“There are between 500 and 600 jobs available.
“It’s very exciting, I do a lot of events like this in my job but this is one of the biggest I have done.”
At today’s event, people can apply for current vacancies, talk to employers from Rushden Lakes and the local area, access training and learn about education opportunities and take part in free advice workshops.
Anyone unable to attend the event can search for vacancies at Rushden Lakes by clicking here
People can also contact Jobcentre Plus for more details about jobs at the development, which is due to open this summer.
To find out all the names confirmed for Rushden Lakes so far, click here