Now Tesco creates 20,000 jobs – with pay

 

Tesco will shrug off criticism of its role in the Government's "workfare" scheme today by creating 20,000 jobs as it attempts to revive sluggish sales and tighten its grip on Britain's shopping basket.

Britain's biggest supermarket will flood its 2,175 stores with the new staff at busy times to improve customer service and concentrate the £67bn-a-year business on fresh food.

The announcement – warmly welcomed by the Government amid rising unemployment – comes at a particularly testing time for the grocery chain.

In January, after 11 months in the job, Tesco's new chief executive, Philip Clarke, disclosed that like-for-like sales had slipped 1.3 per cent over the Christmas period, as it lost out to rivals who invested more in promotions.

Explaining that profit warning, its first for 20 years, Mr Clarke took an apparent swipe at his predecessor, Sir Terry Leahy, by suggesting that Tesco – which has expanded rapidly overseas in recent years in the US and Asia – had not invested enough in its British business.

"We've been running the stores a bit hot for a while and we need to invest back in people in the stores and product in the stores," Mr Clarke said. The new chief executive said he was determined to match the growth of Asda, Sainsbury's and Morrisons. The company has struggled to project positive news since Mr Clarke, formerly the group's international and IT director, took over in March.

Last August, Tesco's head of banking and online operations, Andrew Higginson, announced he was leaving, followed in January by the head of its Asian operations, David Potts.

Last month, Tesco came under fire for taking part in a Government scheme which removed the benefits of the young unemployed if they failed to complete a month of unpaid work experience. Following "slave labour" protests at its stores, Tesco said it would pay the workers and give jobs to all those who successfully completed their month.

Announcing the new jobs programme – which will begin immediately – Tesco said it would "invest significantly" in additional staff hours and training to improve customer experience, particularly on fresh produce, fresh meat, bakery and counter services, which it said shoppers most valued.

The company, the biggest private sector employer in the UK, suggested most of the jobs would go to the young unemployed.

Tesco employs 290,000 staff. A quarter of its workforce, 70,000 people, are under the age of 25.

News
news
Voices
voicesThe Ukip leader on why he's done nothing illegal
Extras
indybest10 best smartphones
News
peopleRyan Gosling says yes, science says no. Take the A-list facial hair challenge
VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition iPad app?
Arts & Entertainment
tvCreator Vince Gilligan sheds light on alternate endings
Sport
video
News
Paul Weller, aka the Modfather, performing at last year’s Isle of Wight Festival in Newport
people
News
Supermarkets are running out of Easter Eggs
Deals make eggs cheaper than normal chocolate
Arts & Entertainment
artYouth club owner says mural is 'gift from the sky' so he can prevent closure of venue
Independent
Travel Shop
the manor
Up to 70% off luxury travel
on city breaks Find out more
santorini
Up to 70% off luxury travel
on chic beach resorts Find out more
sardina foodie
Up to 70% off luxury travel
on country retreats Find out more
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition iPad app?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Online Advertising Account Executive , St Pauls , London

£26K-30k + Bonus, Private Medical Insurance, Company Pension: Charter Selectio...

Advertising Account Executive - Online, Central London

£25K-28k + Bonus, Private Medical Insurance, Company Pension: Charter Selectio...

Senior Infrastructure Consultant

£50000 - £65000 Per Annum potentially flexible for the right candidate: Clearw...

Public Sector Audit - Bristol

£38000 per annum + Benefits: Pro-Recruitment Group: Do you have experience of ...

Day In a Page

Homelessness: Why is the supported lodgings lifeline under threat?

Why is the supported lodgings lifeline under threat?

Zubairi Sentongo swapped poverty in Uganda for homelessness in Britain. But a YMCA scheme connected him with a couple offering warmth and shelter
A History of the First World War in 100 Moments: When the world’s biggest shed took over Regent’s Park

A History of the First World War in 100 Moments

When the world’s biggest shed took over Regent’s Park
The pain of IVF

The pain of IVF

As an Italian woman vows to keep the babies from someone else’s eggs, Julian Baggini ponders how the reality of childbirth is often messier than the natural ideal
Supersize art

Is big better? Britain's latest super-sized art

The Kelpies are the latest addition to a growing army of giant sculptures. But naysayers are asking what a pair of gigantic horse heads tells us about Falkirk?
James Dean: Back on the big screen

James Dean: Back on the big screen

As 'Rebel without a Cause' is re-released, Geoffrey Macnab reveals how its star perfected his moody act
Catch-22: How the cult classic was adapted for the stage

How a cult classic was adapted for the stage

More than half a century after it was published 'Catch-22' will make its British stage debut next week
10 best activity books for children

10 best activity books for children

Keep little ones busy this bank holiday with one of these creative, educational and fun books
Arsenal 3 West Ham United 1: Five things we learnt from the battle between the London sides

Five things we learnt from Arsenal's win over West Ham

Arsenal still in driving seat for Champions League spot and Carroll can make late charge into England’s World Cup squad
Copa del Rey final: Barcelona are paying for their complacency and not even victory over Real Madrid will put things right

Pete Jenson on the Copa del Rey final

Barcelona are paying for their complacency and not even victory over Real Madrid will put things right
Rafa to reign? Ten issues clay courts will serve up this season

Rafa to reign? Ten issues clay courts will serve up this season

With the tennis circus now rolling on to the slowest surface, Paul Newman highlights who'll be making the headlines – and why
Exclusive: NHS faces financial disaster in 2015 as politicians urged to find radical solution

NHS faces financial disaster in 2015

Politicians urged to find radical solution
Ukraine crisis: How spontaneous are the pro-Russian protests breaking out in Ukraine’s east?

Ukraine crisis

How spontaneous are the pro-Russian protests breaking out in Ukraine’s east?
A History of the First World War in 100 moments: The first execution at the Tower of London for 167 years

The first execution at the Tower of London for 167 years

A history of the First World War in 100 moments
Fires could turn Amazon rainforest into a desert as human activity and climate change threaten ‘lungs of the world’, says study

New threat to the Amazon rainforest:

Fires that scorch the ‘lungs of the Earth’
Liverpool, Chelsea and Manchester City: And the winner of this season’s Premier League title will be...

Who’s in box seat now? The winner of the title will be ...

Who is in best shape to take the Premier League prize?