Tesco plans to create 20,000 new jobs in the UK over the next two years by investing in customer service in fresh foods, refreshing existing stores and opening new ones.
According to the retailer, delivering new levels of excellence in customer service in stores lies at the heart of the job creation programme.
Tesco said it will invest in additional staff hours and training to boost the customer experience in areas including fresh produce, fresh meat, bakery plus service counters.
New jobs will also be created by store revamps, designed to improve the space and layout and overall shopping experience, said Tesco.
Opening new stores will also increase the company’s head count, it said.
Tesco said it expects the recruitment drive 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, the retailer said.
Tesco also plans to expand its apprenticeship programme to provide 10,000 apprenticeships with a significant proportion for new starters.
UK CEO Richard Brasher said: “In unprecedented economic conditions like these, major businesses have a big responsibility to step forward, invest and create jobs. Today’s 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.
“With youth unemployment at record levels, we’re determined to target many of our new jobs at young people currently out of work – so that in this difficult jobs market those who need help the most will get it.
“Our investment is a win-win for customers, unemployed young people and the UK economy as a whole.”