Hermes says it is creating more than 10,000 jobs through a £100m investment to bolster its UK delivery capacity as the coronavirus crisis drives up demand for online shopping.
The company said 1,500 full-time positions were available – including head office, warehouse and delivery roles.
It was seeking 9,000 further self-employed couriers across the UK.
Hermes said its investment was due to “huge demand” for its delivery services since the start of the COVID-19 lockdown and it did not foresee a let-up despite the re-opening of high streets.
Hermes said it was expecting a near-doubling of parcel volumes in the looming Christmas season – around 3.5 million a day – despite what is expected to be a tough time for family budgets given the scale of the shock to the economy.
The Office for Budget Responsibility used a report last week to warn that unemployment could surge beyond three million by Christmas as government support for wage bills ends in October.
M&S became the latest high street retailer to announce job losses on Monday.
The jobs announcement by Hermes provides some rare cheer for employment and also reflects the critical role the delivery sector has played during the pandemic to date.
Hermes said: “Recruitment for all roles is starting now in advance of the busy peak season”.
It said that the self-employed drivers had the option of joining its Self Employed + scheme, agreed with the GMB union, that included guaranteed holiday pay.
Chief executive Martijn de Lange said: “This is good news for the many people who have sadly had their income
affected and we are pleased to be able to support the UK economy with so many jobs at this time.
“In that first fortnight of lockdown we had thousands of applications from pub staff, chefs, children’s entertainers, dog walkers, pub singers, beauticians, hairdressers, pilots and many, many others.
“We look forward to welcoming our new recruits over the coming weeks.”