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Tesco creates 16,000 new permanent roles around online as digital booms

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Tesco is to create 16,000 new permanent roles to support the extraordinary growth in its online business. The jobs are in addition to the 4,000 permanent jobs already created since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic.

The roles will include 10,000 pickers to assemble customer orders and 3,000 drivers to deliver them, plus a variety of other roles in stores and distribution centres.

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 £5.5 billionn this year, up from £3.3 billion last year.

The supermarket expects the majority of these roles to be filled by colleagues who joined on a temporary basis at the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, but who now want to stay with the business permanently.

Roles will first be offered to these temporary colleagues, with remaining vacancies then recruited externally.

In April, Tesco became the first retailer to fulfil 1 million online grocery orders in a week. Tesco now serves nearly 1.5 million customers a week online, up from around 600,000 at the start of the pandemic. As the supermarket’s online business continues to grow, the number of new roles may increase further in the coming months.

Jason Tarry, Tesco UK & ROI CEO, says: “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.”

While details are still being finalised, Tesco plans to support the government’s Kickstart scheme and expects to offer places to 1,000 young people once the scheme launches.

The supermarket will also continue to run its apprenticeships and programmes aimed at bringing in school leavers and graduates, with more than 80 young people set to join schemes across stores, distribution centres and offices next month. Almost 50 students also joined Tesco’s summer internship programme this year, which ran as planned and was delivered virtually.

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