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Woolworths throws unemployed Australians a much-needed lifeline after creating 20,000 new jobs 

Woolworths Group will hire up to 20,000 staff members over the next month after thousands of Australians were left unemployed by the coronavirus pandemic. 

The new roles across supermarkets, e-commerce, supply chain and drinks businesses will allow the retailer to better meet the unprecedented demand for groceries across the country. 

The move will also allow the to supermarket giant to build up their online operations in a bid to support the changing shopping needs determined by COVID-19. 

Woolworths Group CEO Brad Banducci said: ‘These are uncertain times for many industries and we have an important role to play keeping Australians employed through this crisis.’

‘Our top priority as we continue delivering an essential service to the community is upholding customer and team safety through clear social distancing rules and elevated hygiene standards.

‘As we do this, we will have more hours for existing team members and additional roles to fill as we focus on meeting the needs of our customers and communities.’

Supermarket shelves have been left bare due to the coronavirus crisis as shoppers desperately bulk-buy groceries amid fears Australia will enter a lockdown.

The Australian Government have also enforced strict social distancing rules and advised residents to stay home to try and combat the outbreak.  

Woolworths Group will look to hire unemployed people directly affected by the government’s latest coronavirus measures. 

The majority of the new roles will be casual in order to provide flexibility. Woolworths will offer short-term contracts to those on leave without pay arrangements with other employers. 

‘Our immediate hiring focus is the redeployment of our ALH team members impacted by this week’s ALH mandatory hotel closures,’ Mr Banducci said.

‘We have already placed around 3,000 of those impacted into new roles across BWS, Dan Murphy’s and Woolworths Supermarkets and will continue to take expressions of interest. 

ALH group, jointly owned by Woolworths and the Mathieson family, operates more than 300 licensed venues across Australia. 

They were forced to lay off about 8,000 workers after the government moved to shut all licensed venues and ‘non-essential’ businesses due to the COVID-19 pandemic. 

‘We’re also preparing to offer up to 5,000 short-term roles to Qantas Group employees taking leave without pay, including more than 1,500 in our distribution centres,’ Mr Banducci said.

Woolworths Group said they expect to make thousands of short-term roles available to employees from Village Entertainment, Michael Hill Jewellers, Cotton On, Accor and Super Retail Group. 

‘We’re working with a number of customer-focused businesses impacted by recent government measures to stop the spread of COVID-19,’ Mr Banducci said. 

‘We’re hopeful these businesses will bounce back strongly once this crisis passes, and we want to do our bit to help them and their people get through the short-term challenge.

‘We’re confident the strong service skills and work ethic of candidates from these businesses will be highly transferable to Woolworths.’

The supermarket giant is also looking through the thousands of applications made online and delivered in-store.   

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