Royal Mail to hire 20,000 seasonal workers to deal with upcoming Christmas online shopping spike

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Royal Mail is set to hire 20,000 seasonal workers over the Christmas period as the delivery giant prepares for another ecommerce boom.

Royal Mail has announced plans to hire tens of thousands of new staff to handle the Christmas online delivery spike, but is facing a battle to fill roles amid the ongoing labour shortage hammering UK supply chains.

Some 17,000 jobs will be available from the end of October until the end of January next year, including roles at Royal Mail’s subsidiary Parcelforce.

A further 1800 staff will be hired to work at distribution centres in Scotland, alongside 650 more in Wales and 500 in Northern Ireland.

Meanwhile, 3650 temporary employees will be hired to handle Royal Mail’s Parcelforce Worldwide business, including 1500 workers at its international parcel hub at Heathrow.

READ MORE: Royal Mail hoping online shopping trend continues after positive figures

“Our seasonal workforce is incredibly important to our operation and we very much look forward to welcoming those who return year after year as well as those who may be joining us for the first time, Royal Mail’s chief people office Zareena Brown said.

“Being part of delivering Christmas is a brilliant experience and one that we know offers lots of opportunities for employment and engagement in the communities we serve.”

It comes as the retail sector continues to face a staffing shortage crisis, with heavyweights including Amazon, John Lewis and Morrisons also hunting for thousands of staff in preparation for the Christmas period.

According to KPMG, demand for temporary workers and the near-record fall in candidate availability is seeing wages rise at their fastest pace on record.

KPMG’s head of education, skills and productivity Claire Warnes said: “The sharp rise in hiring activity is a reason to be hopeful, but competition is fierce.

“The end of the furlough scheme should be bringing tens of thousands of new people to the jobs market, but many do not have the right skills to transfer to the sectors with most demand.”

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