Recruitment for the new Tesco store in Corby starts on Monday - with the company pledging to give 100 jobs to people who have been out of work for six or more months.
The multi-million pound store, being built at the St James Industrial Estate off Oakley Road, is to open in January next year.
In a deal signed by Tesco, Tresham Institute and Corby Council, people in the borough who have been unemployed for six months or more will take part in the first stage of the recruitment process.
It begins on Monday when people can call 01536 343070 for an initial eligibility screening. The hotline will close when 1,040 places for the next stage of recruitment are allocated.
A spokesman for Tresham Instutue said: “The process will include interview and customer service skills followed by interview and work samples with Tesco.
“Interviewing for additional general vacancies for the store is expected to begin in November regardless of individuals’ current employment status.”
In July there were 2,205 people in Corby on Jobseekers’ Allowance, representing an unemployment rate of 6.2 per cent compared with a national figure of 3.8 per cent. Of those 1,415 had been out of work for up to six months, a rate of four per cent compared with a UK figure of two per cent.
The number of people without a job in the borough hasn’t dropped below the 1,400 mark since the start of the year and, apart from a peak of 1,895 in April 2009, is among the highest figures since 2006.
In July there were 440 people out of work for between six months and a year, a rate of 1.2 per cent compared with a national figure of 0.8 per cent.
In 2006 that figure was 145 and it reached its highest level of 510 in August 2009.
Sharon McHard, supervisor at Corby Library which runs a job club every Friday, said: “This is excellent news.
“We see people day in, day out who are looking for work and it is good to hear that 100 jobs at the Tesco store will go to people in Corby who have been out of work for some time.”
The job club, offering help with CV-writing, runs from 9.30am until 12.30pm and there is free access to computers from 8am until 6pm on the same day.