Debenhams delivers temporary jobs boost

DEPARTMENT stores group Debenhams yesterday offered a glimmer of Christmas cheer as it announced plans to recruit 6,500 temporary workers ahead of the festive season.

The temps will be employed from mid-November until the beginning of January to cover the chain’s busy pre-Christmas trading period and the start of its New Year sale.

And Debenhams said that about one in four of the staff who joined for the seasonal peak in trade where likely to stay on in permanent roles.

Debenhams said jobs would be available across its network of 163 stores, in areas including menswear, womenswear, accessories, childrenswear, home, gifts and cosmetics.

Although the group is not disclosing numbers for individual stores, the total represents an average of around 40 jobs per store, so more than 200 positions are likely to be available in Suffolk and Essex where Debenhams has a total of seven stores, at locations including Ipswich, Bury St Edmunds, Colchester and Chelmsford.

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Michael Sharp, Debenhams’ chief executive, said: “These jobs are sure to be welcomed by local economies during the most financially challenging part of the year.

“Approximately a quarter of staff that work with us over the festive season will stay on in permanent roles, making this a crucial period in our employment calendar.”

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Mr Sharp added: “In recent years we have noticed a much broader range of candidates applying for these roles; including many more school leavers and graduates looking for their first step on the employment ladder.

“It’s fantastic that we have the opportunity to give some of these young people valuable retail experience.”

In addition to the temporary roles, Debenhams will also be calling on the 2,100 casual employees already on its payroll to help deal with the seasonal rush.

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