Iceland creates 3,000 jobs following online boom

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Supermarket Iceland has created 3,000 new jobs in response to a surge in online grocery shopping.

The jobs include extra delivery drivers and more staff in stores for picking orders, following a fourfold increase in online orders compared to pre-lockdown levels.

David Devany, chief customer and digital officer at Iceland, said: “We see no sign of a slowdown in the demand for deliveries in the run up to Christmas, so a recruitment drive for more permanent staff was essential.

“Our store and delivery colleagues have gone above and beyond during lockdown introducing incredible measures to help their local communities, and I’m proud that our business has been able to adapt to the changing needs of our customer.”

Last month Tesco announced plans to recruit 16,000 people into permanent positions following a surge in demand for delivery slots, while parcel carrier DPD said in June that it would recruit 3,500 drivers in response to increased volume from online retailers.

Temporary recruitment increased at its quickest rate for 20 months in August, according to data from KPMG and the Recruitment and Employment Confederation, but the overall number of vacancies fell for the sixth month running – especially demand for permanent staff.

REC chief executive Neil Carberry said: “Temporary work is critical in any recovery – businesses turn to temps to help them ramp up and meet demand while the future looks uncertain.

“Slower growth in permanent staff appointments is concerning. It reflects the uncertainty businesses face about what will happen over coming months with the pandemic and Brexit.”

KPMG’s vice chair, James Stewart, said organisations appeared more willing and able to hire as more parts of the economy reopened.

“But with total candidate availability rising at a near-record pace, strong and sustained rises are needed to move the UK jobs market back to levels seen pre-Covid – and with concerns around a possible second wave of infections, the winding down of the furlough scheme and a Brexit deal outcome, there are still many challenges ahead,” he said.

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