ALMOST 300 people have applied for jobs at McDonald’s restaurants in Bolton over the last few weeks.

The burger chain recently announced it was creating 40 jobs at four Bolton restaurants, which are enjoying strong trade boosted by sales of coffee and wraps.

Now the franchisee behind the four restaurants has revealed that a further 10 or 20 jobs could be created in addition to the 40 already announced.

Unemployment is creating high demand for jobs and 1,700 people recently applied for just eight positions at a Costa Coffee shop in Nottingham.

In Bolton, the number of people claiming Jobseeker’s Allowance rose by 305 last month to 8,614 — although experts said the rise was expected after temporary Christmas jobs ended.

McDonald’s is recruiting 2,500 extra staff across the UK and the 40 new Bolton jobs will be part-time and full-time roles at the Deansgate, Astley Bridge, Delph Hill and Middlebrook outlets.

Franchisee Dave Shaw, who manages all four sites, said: “We’ve had 294 applicants since January and the recent article in The Bolton News helped raise the profile of these vacancies.

“However, this high number of applications has been typical for the last two years.

“We wouldn’t have seen this 10 years ago, that’s for sure.

“It would have been 30 or 50 applicants. Times have certainly changed.

“It’s obviously difficult for people to get work, but McDonald’s is one of the few firms which really gives young people a chance.

“It is good at training and investing in young workers, whether they are on their way to university or want a management career.”

Commenting on the Costa applications in Nottingham, Mr Shaw said he would not have been surprised to have received 500 or 600 applications.

He said McDonalds was making better efforts to tell people about its careers and more parents were aware of the options too.

He added: “We recently said we hoped to create 40 jobs this year but that was a conservative estimate.

“It could be 50 or 60. We’ve taken on 11 new recruits so far and are still going through the other applicants.

“The process includes an online assessment and then further activities.

“We plan to hire new intakes of staff roughly every six weeks.”