The Co-op has announced plans to create 5,000 store-based roles, which will provide temporary employment for hospitality workers who have lost their jobs amid the ongoing coronavirus outbreak.
The move follows news yesterday that one million jobs will be at risk across hospitality businesses if the government does not urgently introduce a plan to protect livelihoods, according to UKHospitality.
Recruitment procedures at Co-op have been simplified so that candidates can apply for positions by walking into their nearest store with a view to starting work in a matter of days.
Permanent and temporary roles are available up and down the country across the Co-op's 2,600-strong estate. The boost in colleague numbers will help stores to replenish stock more efficiently, fulfil online orders and provide ongoing assistance to more vulnerable customers.
Jo Whitfield, chief executive of Co-op Food, said: "The Co-op has a critical role to play in supporting our members, customers and colleagues, as well as the local communities that our stores sit at the heart of. Whilst our store and depot colleagues are working around the clock to ensure people have the essentials they need, we are all too aware that many people working in bars, pubs and restaurants are currently out of work. It makes perfect sense for us to try and temporarily absorb part of this highly skilled and talented workforce who are so adept at delivering great customer service, as we work together to feed the nation.
"We're talking to a large number of organisations whose workforces have been affected by this situation. To anyone in this position who is looking for a job in one of our stores, our message is simple: please get in touch now. We've made the application process quicker than ever and hope to have new colleagues on the ground within a day or two. What we need now is genuine, tangible cooperation as we look to support the wider economy and help the nation overcome this challenging period."
Those interested in the new temporary roles should speak to a store manager at their local Co-op. Permanent roles can be applied for at jobs.coop.co.uk.