Tesco Ireland has announced that it is to create 450 permanent jobs across the country, 120 of them to be based in Cork.

The supermarket chain is also generating 700 temporary positions for the Christmas trading period and is already recruiting for these positions.

Announcing the jobs, Tesco chief executive Kari Daniels paid tribute to the company's existing staff.

"Since the start of this pandemic, our colleagues have risen to the challenge to continue to serve our customers and communities. We are pleased to be able to add these roles at this challenging time," she said. 

Since the Covid-19 pandemic began Tesco, like other retailers, recruited extra staff to deal with increased demand. 1,000 additional jobs have already been created.  

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Tesco has seen demand for online shopping double in the last six months. Among the new jobs to be filled are positions in assembly and fulfilment of customer orders for online delivery, drivers to deliver them, customer assistants, plus a variety of other roles in stores across the country. 

"We have doubled the capacity of our delivery slots," Ms Daniels said.

"We have doubled sales in that area, and that's through grocery home shopping delivering to our customers homes but also Click and Collect where customers can pre-order and then at a designated time that suits them, they can pop along to their store and pick their shopping up," she said.

"As much as we keep adding vans and keep adding slots, they keep filling up," Ms Daniels added.

Taoiseach Micheál Martin joined Tesco in announcing the roles, and he paid tribute to retail staff who he described as "vital" over recent months.

Mr Martin said: "I would like to thank Tesco staff and all other retail workers who have kept our shops open during the Covid-19 pandemic."

He added: "They are playing a vital role in ensuring people have access to essential supplies in a safe environment. 

"These additional jobs will further improve the shopping experience for customers as well as providing an employment boost in Cork and right across the country." 

120 of the new permanent jobs will be in Cork, including at the Douglas shopping centre store, which is reopening in two weeks after a year-long closure following a fire.

The supermarket currently employs over 13,000 people across 151 stores here, making it one of the largest private sector employers in the state.