Marks to take on 20,000 Christmas workers

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Retail giant Marks and Spencer announced plans today to hire 20,000 seasonal workers ahead of the annual Christmas shopping rush.

M&S said it was launching a nationwide recruitment drive for its 712 stores across the UK and Ireland to help boost its workforce for the busy festive period.

Last year it said more than 29 million customers visited its stores in the week before Christmas.

The group, which also took on 20,000 extra staff last Christmas, said many of its seasonal recruits go on to pursue careers with the company, with 23% of M&S retail graduates having started as festive workers.

Steve Rowe, director of retail at M&S, said: "We offer an excellent benefits package, and all our new recruits take part in a two-day induction training session so that they are fully-equipped to ensure our customers receive the best possible service."

It will be taking on 262 extra workers at its Camberley store alone, while the group said the new recruits would collectively work a minimum of 320,000 hours each week.