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Monday 5th March 2012 | 11:29
Usdaw welcomes Tesco pledge to create 20,000 new jobs and invest in additional staff hours and training
Tesco has today announced that it intends to create 20,000 new jobs in the UK over the next two years through what it calls 'a significant investment in customer service, refreshing existing stores and opening new ones'.
Tesco, which is the country's biggest private sector employer, says it will immediately 'invest significantly in additional staff hours and training' and will 'refresh hundreds of existing stores, improving space and layout and the overall shopping experience.
The company says it also intends to expand its apprenticeship programme to provide 10,000 apprenticeships, with a significant proportion for new starters.
Responding to the announcement, John Hannett, General Secretary of the shopworkers union Usdaw said:
"This is a very welcome and significant investment by Tesco and an urgently needed jobs boost for the UK economy as a whole and young people in particular. It's also good news for existing staff who have been under increasing daily pressure because of the squeeze on staffing levels and hours."
"The announcement reflects our view of the importance of providing good customer service. For most businesses, staffing is a major part of their operating costs and can be viewed as an easy target to save money. However, customer service is a vital ingredient in a successful retail business and if levels fall because staff numbers have been cut, then in such a competitive sector, shoppers will simply take their custom elsewhere."
Pauline Foulkes, Usdaw National Officer added:
"Tesco's pledge to invest significantly in additional staff hours and training will certainly be welcomed by our existing members. We have been raising their concerns about the pressure on staffing levels and the lack of additional hours many of them need to increase their earnings so this is very good news."