UK supermarket chain Tesco has announced plans to create 16,000 new permanent roles to back its growing online business.

These roles are on top of the 4,000 permanent jobs produced from the time when the Covid-19 pandemic began.

It will include 10,000 pickers to assemble customer orders and 3,000 drivers for delivery, as well as other roles in stores and distribution centres.

The retailer expects to fill these vacancies with colleagues who joined on a temporary basis at the start of the pandemic.

They will be offered the roles and the remaining roles will be filled via external recruitment.

Tesco UK & ROI CEO Jason Tarry said: “Since the start of the pandemic, our colleagues have helped us to more than double our online capacity, safely serving nearly 1.5 million customers every week and prioritising vulnerable customers to ensure they get the food they need.

“These new roles will help us continue to meet online demand for the long-term and will create permanent employment opportunities for 16,000 people across the UK.”

Tesco fulfilled one million online grocery orders in a week in April. It currently serves around 1.5 million customers a week online.

Last week, Tesco planned to launch free home delivery to members of its Clubcard Plus loyalty scheme.

Recently, online electricals store AO revealed plans to conduct recruitment drive for 650 high-quality jobs across the UK.