Iceland to create 3,500 temporary jobs to cope with lockdown surge

PA

Iceland has announced plans to recruit 3,500 temporary workers to cope with the increased demand from the latest national lockdowns.

The supermarket said it would hire 1,000 home delivery drivers, alongside 2,500 store assistants and online grocery pickers.

The move comes after bosses at the grocer created 3,000 new permanent roles in 2020, in addition to a further 3,300 temporary, seasonal staff hired in the run-up to Christmas.

Iceland and others have seen huge spikes in demand for online deliveries, as customers are encouraged to stay home and the latest lockdown has required the most vulnerable citizens to shield during the Covid-19 outbreak.

Iceland said many of those on temporary contracts from the recruitment drive before Christmas are now being offered extended roles in the business, although it did not provide details.

As a result of the recruitment, Iceland has been able to handle a 300% increase in home deliveries year-on-year by September 2020 – processing 750,000 orders a week.

The supermarket added it has already offered priority online delivery slots to the almost 300,000 customers on its database who are on the UK Government’s “shielding” lists or have been referred to Iceland by local authorities and charities.

David Devany, chief customer and digital officer at Iceland Foods, said: “We’re equally delighted to be one of the very few supermarkets with online delivery slots available to customers right now, and to be able to offer yet more job opportunities as a result of the continuing growth in demand for our service.

“Our Iceland team is now well over 30,000 strong and I am exceptionally proud of the way our store and delivery colleagues have gone above and beyond during the pandemic, introducing new measures to help their local communities and offering a truly outstanding service to our customers.”