Tesco has announced that it will create 20,000 new jobs in the UK over the next two years through a “significant investment in customer service, refreshing existing stores and opening new ones”.
At the heart of this programme, Tesco plans to deliver “new levels of excellence” in customer service across its stores. Starting immediately, Britain’s top retailer will invest significantly in additional staff hours and training to boost the customer experience – including on fresh produce, fresh meat, bakery and the counter services that customers value the most.
The new jobs will also reflect a substantial programme to refresh hundreds of existing stores, improving space and layout and the overall shopping experience, as well as opening new stores.
In strengthening its customer service team by 20,000 new recruits, Tesco expects to focus on giving opportunities to young people currently unemployed. As well as providing a crucial first rung on the career ladder for each individual, this move will be a major step in tackling the current record levels of youth unemployment.
Tesco will also give young people the opportunity to carry on learning by expanding its apprenticeship programme to provide 10,000 apprenticeships, with a significant proportion for new starters.
Welcoming the announcement of jobs and investment, prime minister David Cameron said: “This is a massive confidence boost for the UK economy. Tesco is one of the world’s leading companies and the biggest private sector employer in this country. Their commitment to creating jobs and opportunities for young people at what is a difficult time for the economy is fantastic news for the UK as a whole and for those people they will help into work.”
Tesco UK CEO Richard Brasher said: “In unprecedented economic conditions like these, major businesses have a big responsibility to step forward, invest and create jobs. The announcement is a huge shot in the arm for the UK economy.
“At the core of this investment is our determination to deliver the best shopping experience for our customers, bar none. We will invest in more staff on the sales floor at busy times, greater expertise and help in the crucial areas of fresh food, and enhanced quality and service across our stores at all times.
“To deliver this we’re going to strengthen our customer service team – 20,000 more staff across our stores over the next two years.”
Tesco is the country’s largest private sector employer with over 290,000 staff, and 70,000 young people under the age of 25 – a quarter of its workforce.
Tesco ensures that its people continue to develop and learn new skills at every level and offers a leading pay and benefits package – the first supermarket to break through the £7 per hour barrier for store staff last year.