HUNDREDS of applicants are applying for single job vacancies, it has been revealed.

Thousands of redundancies have been made in the wake of the Covid-19 pandemic and it has never been tougher to find a new job.

Employment website CV-Library has reported vacancies in the second quarter of 2020 were down by 63 per cent when compared with the same period in 2019.

But the applicant to job ratio across the UK rose by 84 per cent, leading to stiff competition for jobs in every sector.

Waldegrave Holiday Park, in Mersea, is currently advertising for a bar staff role in its restaurant and has received more than 100 applications for the post.

Roberta Puze, head of marketing, said: “Last year, when we advertised for the same role, we received 49 applications through Indeed. This year we have received 176, three times as many.

“We are also recruiting for a shop assistant, and again, last year for a similar role we had 40 applicants. This year we have already received 127.”

Marc Smith, director of Colchester recruitment agency Top Job, said prior to the pandemic, the market had been driven largely by the candidate.

“This meant there were plenty of jobs and fewer available candidates,” he said.

“Since Covid struck, however, the tables have turned and it’s become client driven with huge numbers of candidates and few roles available.”

Mr Smith said the impact is being felt across all sectors but that his team had noted a higher number of CVs relating to manufacturing and administration.

“We’re also aware of the rise in people putting themselves forward for hospitality roles, although it’s less likely that individuals would come to us for such posts and they may instead go directly to the bars and restaurants,” he said.

“Our concern about this is many managers and business owners will find themselves overwhelmed by the number of applicants.

“We’re hearing frequently about cases of hospitality venues getting hundreds of CVs for one part-time post.”

With the UK unemployment rate at 3.9 per cent, the international Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development has predicted a rise to 11 per cent by the end of the year.

In Colchester, up to 80 jobs are at risk at engine manufacturing MAN Energy Solutions, which has plans to shut its facility off Hythe Hill.

Mr Smith said: “The job market will stabilise but for the time being we are finding skilled candidates are being reduced to working in unskilled roles.”

He added: “We have spoken to a number of clients that have advertised on Indeed for lower level roles and have found that they have been inundated with hundreds of applicants, most of which have not got the relevant experience needed.”

Dave Cope, Essex operations leader at the Department of Work and Pensions, said the number of people claiming Universal Credit in Colchester had risen by 147 per cent on the same period last year, with the claimant count standing at 16,800.

“Furlough is a factor here,” he said.

“In places like Essex and London, we had one of the highest proportions of people on furlough nationally and it is a reflection of the labour market.

“Some who are working part time are claiming to top up their income.”

He added: “It is not that there aren’t any jobs - there are jobs.

“Supermarkets are recovering, as is the care sector, which is recruiting, while some sectors - like hospitality - face a tricky period.

“But it is our job to make sure everyone gets what they are entitled to.”