A WORRIED councillor is demanding reassurances that a proposed multi-million pound Morrisons superstore development in Bolsover will create long-term jobs for the district’s residents.
The supermarket chain aims to build a store on the site of Bolsover District Council’s Sherwood Lodge offices, off Oxcroft Lane, after the local authority announced cost-saving plans to sell its HQ and move to Clowne.
But district councillor Duncan Kerr is concerned after BBC TV’s ‘Panorama’ claimed stores have been benefiting from Government funding by taking on too many apprentices on modest pay and short-term contracts.
He said: “I want to know what kind of jobs will be delivered by Morrisons and whether they will be real jobs or apprenticeships with short-term contracts to get funding.
“We need to discuss what Morrisons intend to do in Bolsover and I want to see guarantees about local jobs for local people and that if there are apprenticeships they will be meaningful, long term ones.”
A Morrisons spokesman said: “We’re proud of our apprenticeship programme. These qualifications help people move forward and last year alone 2,500 Morrisons colleagues progressed from entry level jobs to junior management after gaining apprenticeships.
“Jobs don’t cease once the apprenticeship has finished. They are real jobs and colleagues have the opportunity to progress like anyone else and forge a career.”
James Smith, Morrisons development executive, said the store would create jobs with training and opportunities targeted at local people.
The council, which selected Morrisons as its preferred bidder, will be the deciding authority on the company’s expected planning application.
Morrisons held public open day displays at the Assembly Hall, Bolsover, on Friday and Saturday.