Hundreds of jobseekers flocked to the Stadium of Light as the Job Show North East returned to Sunderland.
The massive jobs fair - making its second visit to the Stadium - had more than 1,000 vacancies and apprenticeships on offer from a wide range of firms, as well, as offering practical help with subjects such as writing a CV.
Organiser Victoria Clarke was delighted with the response on Wearside.
“We’re not just here for people who are long-term unemployed - it’s for people who want to improve their prospects, people who are looking for a change of career, who have just been made redundant or who are looking to get back into work after a career break.”
As well as being open to any one walking in, the event also ran a pre-registration system to link applicants with employers offering posts they were interested in.
“We have had around 700 people pre-register and 200 through the door in the first hour, which is fantastic,” said Victoria.
We’re not just here for people who are long-term unemployed - it’s for people who want to improve their prospects, people who are looking for a change of career, who have just been made redundant or who are looking to get back into work after a career break.Victoria Clarke
“What happened last year changed a lot of people’s lives, so we are delighted to be back in Sunderland again.”
City-based Station Taxis was among the firms taking part.
The firm is looking to recruit 30 drivers and spokeswoman Natalie Bland said bosses had been taken aback by the number of potential candidates coming forward.
“We are a very local company, quite different from some of the big businesses here, so we did not expect that much interest,” she said.
“But a lot of people have come forward wanting to speak to somebody face-to-face. It’s the type of industry where there are a few hoops you have to jump through and a lot of drivers who come to use have a friend or family members in the industry that they can talk to.
“So it’s great that people who aren’t in that position have a chance to ask their questions. We’ve had ten applications in the first hour.”
Student University students Beth-Ann Singer and Josh Davison, both 20, were among those visiting the show.
“I am looking to join the police force at some point, but they are not recruiting at the moment, so I’m looking for anything I can get at the moment,” he said.
“I just want to get my foot in the door.”
Beth-Ann said: “I liked the sound of Northern Gas and Power. The person who did the presentation sounded as though she knew what she was talking about.”