800 Royal Mail jobs to be created in the Black Country
It's the busiest time of the year - and to cope with demand this Christmas, Royal Mail is taking on more than 800 workers in the Black Country.
Temporary workers will be taken on to cope with the festive period, which could see up to 400 million items of mail delivered throughout the Midlands over the next two months.
Council bosses have hailed the news as a major boost to employment in the area.
A total of 836 seasonal staff will employed across shifts spanning 24 hours a day from November to early January, with the bulk of new recruits required during the main Christmas rush in December.
The workers will be stationed in Wolverhampton at the North West Midlands Mail Centre on Sun Street - which handles mail for the whole of Staffordshire and the Black Country - and the Parcel Sorting Centre on Stafford Road.
They will be paid between £6.50 and £9.94 per hour for a variety of roles, including sorting through Christmas cards and gifts before they are taken to delivery offices, unloading mail from vans, transporting it around in trolleys and operating machinery.
The extra staff will supplement the company's 18,000 postal workers in the Midlands.
The mail centres in Wolverhampton can process up to one million items per shift over Christmas, with the rise in online shopping credited as having sparked a surge in the number of festive parcels delivered in recent years.
Royal Mail operations director Geoff Braden, said: "Christmas is the busiest time of the year for Royal Mail and we plan all year round to help ensure we deliver the best possible service to our customers.
"Every Christmas, we make a substantial financial commitment in additional resources to handle the festive mailbag, including the recruitment of thousands of temporary workers."
Councillor Peter Bilson, Wolverhampton City Council's regeneration chief, said he was pleased to see the firm take on such a high number of new workers.
He said: "This is very good news, if not totally unexpected. We know that Royal Mail tend to take on additional labour to satisfy the Christmas rush, but it is encouraging to see them recruit so many workers.
"It is a positive step for people who are looking for work. Although the positions are temporary, they could provide an opportunity for workers to gain full time positions in the future.
"Taking on more than 800 staff is also an indication that Royal Mail's business is doing well."
Royal Mail Group's express parcels business, the Birmingham-based Parcelforce Worldwide, is also recruiting additional staff throughout the Black Country.
A further 379 workers will be taken on at the Birmingham Mail Centre. People can apply for a position via royalmailgroup.com/xmasjobs
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