Major supermarkets are trying to fill thousands of new jobs to cope with surging demand due to the coronavirus outbreak.

Tesco, the UK’s biggest grocer, is recruiting 20,000 temporary workers for at least the next 12 weeks.

The chain’s spokesperson said they had been “overwhelmed by support from the public and thank everyone who has applied to work with us in stores”.

Some staff are being interviewed, processed and working within the same day, they added.

Aldi is looking to take on 9,000 new staff, of which 4,000 are permanent, to work its stores and 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 it 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 said: “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.”

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