After thousands of Australians braced for “businesses to close” and “jobs to be lost” this week, Coles is offering a reprieve for some.
The supermarket giant announced today it would be offer 5000 new jobs, on top of the 7000 workers it has recruited over the past fortnight.
This latest recruitment drive – when complete – will bring the company’s total number of new employees to 12,000, all hired over a few short weeks.
The new recruits have been fast-tracked into Coles’ supermarkets and liquor stores across Australia and have come from a wide range of industries and businesses, including many that have been forced to close or to stand down staff such as in travel, sport, fitness and hospitality.
The hiring comes as Australians continue panic-buying at supermarkets, leaving some aisles empty.
“We’ve just been so busy and the demand is enormous in stores,” a Coles spokesperson told news.com.au. “The intention is to get these guys in the doors as quickly as possible.”
RELATED: What are the coronavirus symptoms?
While many applicants are filling casual roles, there are also a number of full-time positions up for grabs across the company.
“It’s not just stacking shelves; we need so many people to do a variety of different things,” a Coles spokesperson said.
Positions are vacant for serving customers, stacking shelves in supermarkets and liquor stores, delivering online orders and more than 100 bakers.
“Our dedicated team have gone through hundreds and hundreds of applications. But there’s also been in-store applications. A great example of that was in Queensland when a cafe closed down and a girl lost her job. And she just walked into her local Coles and said ‘Hey, I’ve just lost my job, do you have anything I can do?’ And the manager was able to put her on so it’s a combined effort, there’s been a lot of groundwork and contact between our in-store teams as well as liaising with our corporate partners,” the spokesperson said.
Coles chief executive officer Steven Cain said Coles was delighted with the response to the recruitment call-out.
“Coles is doing everything we can to support jobs and the economy through this challenging time, while also ensuring we can provide groceries for all Australians,” he said.
“We have been overwhelmed with the number of applications received from across different industries.
“To ensure we could act quickly, we streamlined our recruitment processes and assigned a dedicated team to fast-track applications sent by corporate partners like Australian Venue Company and Virgin Australia.”
By state, Coles has offered 1700 jobs in Victoria, 2000 in New South Wales, about 1800 in Queensland, 600 in South Australia, 700 in Western Australian, 100 in Tasmania, about 90 in ACT and 100 in the Northern Territory.
Those interested in applying can do so in person at their local Coles or online through Coles Careers.