Co-op creates 5,000 jobs for UK hospitality workers

20th March, 2020 by Nicola Carruthers

UK grocery chain Co-op is offering 5,000 jobs across its stores for hospitality workers who have been dismissed during the coronavirus pandemic.

The Co-op operates 2,600 stores across the UK

Earlier this week, UK prime minister Boris Johnson told the British public to avoid pubs, clubs and social venues in a bid to mitigate the impact of coronavirus.

On Tuesday evening (17 March), UK chancellor Rishi Sunak guaranteed a £330 billion (US$398bn) package of loans and grants to help businesses during the coronavirus outbreak – and assured it would allow firms to claim against insurance policies over pandemic losses. However, these are not expected to come into effect until next week at the earliest.

UK Hospitality has warned more than one million jobs could be lost this week without immediate government support.

To help on-trade employees who are currently out of work, the Co-op is offering permanent and temporary positions across its 2,600-strong stores.

The company, which operates convenience stores and supermarkets across the UK, has “simplified” its recruitment process so that candidates can apply for roles by walking into their nearest Co-op. Those who apply will also be able to start work within days.

The creation of the new jobs will allow stores to replenish stock more efficiently, fulfil online orders and provide ongoing assistance to more vulnerable customers.

‘Get in touch now’

Jo Whitfield, CEO 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 work forces 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 applying for a temporary role should speak to a store manager at their local Co-op. Permanent positions can be applied for online.

Leave a Reply

Subscribe to our newsletter