Co-op fills 5,000 temp jobs in days after huge response to recruitment drive

By Alan Jones, PA Industrial Correspondent

The Co-op has filled all 5,000 temporary store jobs it created last week in a record seven days following an “unprecedented” response to the retailer’s recruitment drive.

The company said it had taken on many people who found themselves unexpectedly out of work due to the ongoing coronavirus crisis.

By this weekend, all 5,000 new recruits will be working across the convenience retailer’s network of stores, giving a boost to the Co-op’s efforts to keep shelves replenished.

The response has been overwhelming as people pull together to feed the nation


Jo Whitfield, chief executive of Co-op Food, said: “Just one week ago we asked members of the British public who needed jobs to come forward and join forces with us.

“The response has been overwhelming as people pull together to feed the nation. All of our colleagues are heroes and are doing an amazing job under huge pressure.”

Rachel Marriott, 27, from Manchester, said: “I was studying for my Masters in social work but my placement was cancelled overnight, leaving me with no income so I was desperate to find some work.

“I saw that the Co-op was advertising for new roles in their food stores and phoned up on Friday, had an interview an hour later and was offered the position at one of their Salford stores on the spot. I’m so happy to be a part of a wider movement that is helping to keep the country going.”

This week, the Co-op announced a raft of measures to enforce social distancing in stores following the announcement of new Government legislation including the introduction of floor markers, creating more space between customers at till points and controlling the number of customers in stores.

Staff in business support roles who are not currently working in stores or distribution centres are also being encouraged to lend a hand in their local Co-op amid the surge in demand for groceries.