Parcel delivery giant DPD is creating 6,000 new jobs and opening more depots in response to the “unprecedented” increase in online shopping caused by the coronavirus crisis.
The posts, including drivers, warehouse staff, managers and mechanics, will be spread across the UK, with most of the recruitment in place before October – ahead of Black Friday and the Christmas peak.
Most of the jobs are full-time, with drivers having the option of an Owner Driver Franchise, which is a self-employed contract the company has run for more than 20 years.
DPD said even before lockdown restrictions were announced in March, demand for its delivery service had risen significantly as people started increasing their reliance on online shopping.
The trend has continued and DPD is forecasting the growth to continue this year, despite shops reopening.
The company announced it will invest £200 million this year to expand its next-day parcel capacity, including £100 million on vehicles, £60 million on 15 new regional depots, and the remainder on technology.
Chief executive Dwain McDonald said: “We are experiencing the biggest boom in online retailing in the UK’s history and we are making this unprecedented investment in our infrastructure and people to ensure we can continue to meet the high levels of demand for our services.
“DPD has been one of the fastest growing major companies in the UK in the last 10 years due to the growth in e-commerce, but what we have seen in recent months is potentially a much more significant shift in behaviour, and we believe elements of it will be permanent.
“As a company, we’ve been dealing with rapid growth and ongoing investment cycles for a long time, but this is a very significant moment.
“I do think the high street will bounce back from where things are now, but we have to base our modelling on our conversations with retailers and their projections.
“It looks like there will remain a much greater reliance on e-commerce in the future – that’s going to be our ‘new normal’.”
Employment minister Mims Davies said: “Clearly many sectors continue to feel the impact of Covid-19, but there are opportunities in other sectors and growing areas. These jobs span several regions of the UK and are hugely welcome as we switch our focus to renewing and rebuilding our country.
“Not only is this positive news for the jobs market but also the economy, with signs people are spending and increasing demand for logistics. With roles ranging from drivers to mechanics to managers, these positions are open to jobseekers with a range of skills and provide fresh options for those seeking employment.”