Three major supermarkets have become the latest to launch a recruitment drive with a total of 16,500 jobs on offer to cope with the coronavirus outbreak.
Aldi is looking to take on 9,000 new staff, of which 4,000 are permanent, to work in one of its stores or distribution centres to meet the surge in demand triggered by the pandemic.
The crisis has sparked widespread panic-buying and triggered an economic slump that has put tens of thousands of jobs at risk.
Lidl has said it wants to recruit 2,500 workers to start immediately in its stores.
Managers said the new positions will be four-week contracts, helping to restock shelves and assist staff.
The firm, which has 800 stores across the country, has said its is particularly keen to hear from workers who have lost their job as a result of businesses shutting down over the outbreak of COVID-19 – the disease caused by coronavirus.
The move comes as Asda also revealed plans to hire more than 5,000 temporary workers, who face losing their jobs because of the crisis.
The food retail giant is working alongside 20 national businesses who are being forced to let go of staff, to ensure those employees can remain in work.
It follows similar announcements from Co-op and Morrisons that they are significantly expanding their workforce to cope with the extra demand of households in self-isolation.
Aldi recruitment director Kelly Stokes, says: “We want to keep supporting our local communities through these uncertain times, with access to groceries and wages to keep their families going, and we feel we’re in a position to be able to do so through the creation of these new roles.
“We have a huge number of roles to fill across the business so we’re encouraging everyone who has been affected by COVID-19’s impact on the economy to explore our available roles and see if we can get you back into work.”
Christian Hartnagel, chief executive of Lidl GB, said: “Our store colleagues are doing an incredible job at keeping our shelves stocked, and serving communities during an extremely challenging period.
“Temporarily expanding our teams is one way we can help support our colleagues and customers, whilst providing work to those that have had their employment affected by the current situation.”
Asda chief executive Roger Burnley said: “Never in my 30 years in retail have I ever felt so keenly the role played by supermarkets in our communities.”
He added: “During these difficult times everyone has to work together to help people most affected by COVID-19, and Asda is pleased to play its part.
“That is why we have committed to hiring more than 5,000 employees who have lost their jobs due to COVID-19 and have been left with deep concerns about their household budgets.”