This week has seen hospitality businesses hit hard as the coronavirus crisis continues to affect the UK economy. Many restaurants and cafes are starting to close their doors, whilst others have converted to takeaways in order to keep going.
The hospitality industry is worth £120bn to the UK but has been left in limbo after advice from the Prime Minister to steer clear of pubs, restaurants and clubs has seen businesses suffer a huge decline in footfall without government support or the ability to claim on their insurance.
A large number of hospitality workers have already lost their jobs as a result, with Unite Union estimating up to two-thirds of the 3.2 million-strong workforce will suffer the same fate as the crisis unfolds.
In response, the Co-op has announced plans to create 5,000 store-based roles in a bid to provide temporary employment for hospitality workers out of a job.
“Whilst our store and depot colleagues are working around the clock to ensure people have the essentials they need, we are all too aware that many people working in bars, pubs and restaurants are currently out of work,” said CEO Jo Whitfield.
“It makes perfect sense for us to try and temporarily absorb part of this highly skilled and talented workforce who are so adept at delivering great customer service, as we work together to feed the nation.
“We’re talking to a large number of organisations whose workforces have been affected by this situation.”
Recruitment procedures have been simplified. Candidates can apply for positions by walking into their nearest store and look to start work in a matter of days.
Roles are being made available UK-wide to increase support for local communities amid the ongoing coronavirus outbreak.
As stores come under increased strain, more hands on deck will help to more efficiently replenish stock on the shelves, fulfill online orders and to provide ongoing assistance to their more vulnerable customers.
Permanent and temporary roles are available up and down the country across the Co-op’s 2,600-strong store estate.