Some industries in the U.K., are increasing hiring efforts, even as hundreds of thousands loose their jobs as a result of coronavirus.
As spring emerges, a large quantity of fruit and vegetables need to be picked in fields across Europe. But with migrant workers, who normally carry out these tasks, no longer permitted to cross borders local labour is needed in the fields.
HOPS, a provider of seasonal labour, has said it is looking for a “UK workforce to help farms harvest crops that will feed the nation following the impact of the coronavirus pandemic.”
“The paid positions could provide an income for students, job seekers and anyone who has been laid off work due to the impact of covid-19, such as those working in hospitality and catering,” HOPS said in a statement.
Already the U.K. hospitality and leisure industry has lost between 200,000 and 250,000 jobs according to UKHospitality. Even more temporary layoffs are expected after Boris Johnson issued measures in line with other European countries by ordering pubs, bars and restaurants to close.
On Friday (March 21), the same day as Johnson’s announcement, the Department for Education included farmers and farm workers on their essential workers list, meaning their children can still go to school amid the coronavirus crisis.
Over 30,000 New Jobs Advertised In Last Three Days
Analysing job postings over the three days from Wednesday March 17 to Friday March 20, real estate firm Savoy Stewart said it had found 31,387 new job listings in the U.K.
Looking at the sectors they cover, however, it is obvious many of these jobs are being created in direct response to coronavirus. The most job vacancies, for example, are in customer service, an umbrella term for “sales associates, retail assistants, phone handlers and cashiers,” says Savoy Strewart.
The next largest area of recruitment is nurses. Savoy Steward counted 4,639 job listings for nurses, but many expect this number to increase as the National Health Service (NHS) responds to a growing number of covid-19 cases in the U.K.
Warehouse assistants, delivery drivers and shop pickers are also in high demand. Amazon has already said that it would hire an additional 100,000 workers to help with home deliveries. From Friday, delivery drivers in the U.K. will be able to drive for up to 11 hours a day rather than the previously allotted 10 hours.
European supermarkets, which have been overrun in recent weeks, are also hiring at record levels. Collectively, Coop, Lidl, Morrisons, Aldi, and Asda are hiring around 20,000 in the U.K. to keep their shops and deliveries in operation.
These figures are likely to change over the following weeks as the effects of coronavirus on the economy evolves. For example, the number of postings for online tutors are “expected to rise significantly following the government’s announcement to close schools from Friday onwards,” says Savoy Stewart.
While the number of vacant positions falls well short of the amount of workers being laid-off, they all full fill vital functions during this time.
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