UP to 1,000 job opportunities will be up for grabs as a recruitment bonanza is staged in Southampton.

More than 80 local employers, including major firms across Hampshire, will be setting up stall at the City Cruise Terminal tomorrow in a bid to recruit jobseekers to the roles.

Thousands of people of all ages seeking work, apprenticeships, volunteering opportunities and careers are expected to descend on the fair as unemployment figures continue to rise in the region.

The Solent Jobs Fair, which takes place throughout the afternoon, comes as the latest unemployment figures are set to be released. The dole queue in Hampshire currently stands at 15,923, with 5,425 in Southampton and 2,959 on the Isle of Wight.

Last year 1,800 people packed into the event, which is being held from 3pm to 7pm, and this year organisers are expecting more than 2,000 people to attend.

Costco, the huge cash and carry superstore which is set to open on the former British American Tobacco site in Millbrook next spring, will be among the main exhibitors and offering information about the 160 vacancies set to come up at the site.

Other vacancies include a variety of sales adviser opportunities for Sky TV, foster parents for the Foster Care Associates and HSBC, which needs bank staff. There will also be graduate opportunities with Enterprise Rent a Car and roles with Emerge IT, according to event manager Robin Smith.

Beaulieu Enterprises and Carey’s Manor hotel will also be among those recruiting, he said.

While employers will not be recruiting on the day, there is the chance to get information and application forms.

There will be a specialist Apprentice-ship Centre and Graduate Fair.

From 9am until 2pm, 2,300 youngsters will pack into the terminal for the Solent Skills Fest giving children and teens the chance to discover the roles and skills needed in various industries.

The Daily Echo will have a stand offering children the chance to try their hand at journalism by creating a front page article.

Primary children will also enjoy a science and technology festival on the site.

The event is sponsored by the Southampton Airport Community fund, Southampton City Council, ABP Southampton and supported by ESF Funding through Skills UK.

Mr Smith said: “There are over 80 exhibitors all offering opportunities of some kind. People will be able to come along and get information about a huge variety of employers. The economic climate continues to be difficult with unemployment figures high so we are expecting this to be a very busy event.”

There will be 250 free parking spaces near the terminal and a free bus service provided by Velvet shuttling jobseekers at 2.45pm from WestQuay Shopping Centre at Portland Terrace to the City Cruise Terminal. There will also be a free student bus from Solent University’s main entrance at 2.45pm.