Tuffnells HGV truck driver 90

Tuffnells has pledged to guarantee anyone out of work because of COVID-19 an interview as it looks to hire more than 100 new warehouse workers and lorry drivers.

The announcement comes after the chief executive of the British Retail Consortium, Helen Dickinson, said the UK does not have short supplies but the challenge is "people" and "lorries".

Tuffnells has roles available at depots across its whole network including Birmingham, Aberdeen, Leicester, Leeds, Bristol and Sheffield.

It is experiencing extra demand on its delivery service and is under pressure to cover those absent due to sickness, self-isolation and dependent leave.

Tuffnells executive chairman Michael Holt has admitted the whole supply chain is facing an unprecedented challenge and all similar operations needed to hire more staff to cope with demand: “It’s been an extremely difficult period for us all, no matter where you are or what you do for work," he said.

"The sheer rise in demand for goods in recent weeks means we are working extremely hard to deliver the supplies that businesses and customers need to operate as best they can considering the circumstances.

“Unfortunately, due to COVID-19’s impact on the economy, many hard-working and extremely skilled individuals have found themselves without work, through no fault of their own. That’s why we have made this pledge so it gives people with the relevant skills in the locations where we have roles the opportunity to bounce back quickly.”

Tuffnells has also made it clear that it is taking every precaution necessary to keep its staff and interviewees safe and to follow the government's advice to help halt the spread of the virus.

As the situation continues, Holt expects further roles to become available: “Like Helen [Dickinson] said on Saturday, the kind of spike in demand we are seeing is similar to that around the festive period," he said. "Meaning if this continues to be the case for a number of weeks and months we could in fact have to make further roles available.

“I’m sure all business leaders in the supply chain are facing similar challenges and they will all agree with me when I say that we are so proud of the long hours and dedication the workforce has put in. I know that the team at Tuffnells is going above and beyond. It’s a case of us all sticking together and helping the nation get through this extremely challenging period."