Tesco creates 16,000 new permanent jobs as lockdown sends online sales soaring

Lockdown changed the way Britain shops. Probably forever. Grocery giant Tesco is responding to that change by creating 16,000 full-time jobs in its only delivery business.

That’s on top of the 4,000 or so permanent jobs already created since the start of the coronavirus pandemic.

The new roles include 10,000 staff to pick customer orders from shelves and 3,000 delivery drivers.

Many of these positions are expected to go to people who joined the company as temporary workers at the start of the pandemic.

Before the pandemic, around 9% of Tesco’s sales were online. The figure is now more than 16% of sales, with Tesco expecting online sales of over £5.5bn this year, up from £3.3bn last year.

The company said roles will first be offered to these temporary employees, with remaining vacancies then recruited externally.

In April, Tesco became the first retailer to fulfil one million online grocery orders in a week.

Tesco now serves nearly 1.5m customers a week online, up from around 600,000 at the start of the pandemic.

Tesco says its online business is continuing to grow, and so the number of new roles may increase further in the coming months.

Jason Tarry, Tesco’s CEO for the UK and Ireland, said: “Since the start of the pandemic, our colleagues have helped us to more than double our online capacity, safely serving nearly 1.5 million customers every week and prioritising vulnerable customers to ensure they get the food they need.

"These new roles will help us continue to meet online demand for the long term, and will create permanent employment opportunities for 16,000 people across the UK.”

Also as part of Tesco’s announcement, the company has stated that it plans to support the government’s Kickstart scheme and expects to offer places to 1,000 young people once the scheme launches.

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