Supermarket giant Morrisons is to create more than 7,000 jobs next year as it continues its store expansion programme as well as developing its manufacturing and logistics arms.
The company said it will open 25 new stores in 2012, creating jobs including butchery, bakery and fishmongery posts.
More than half the new employees at one of the stores will have been previously unemployed and 75% are typically from the local area, said Morrisons.
There will also be another 300 people employed at Morrisons's new Bridgwater Regional Distribution Centre, which will provide food for much of the South West and South Wales.
Group human resources director Norman Pickavance said: "Despite the difficult economic conditions, Morrisons continues to have ambitious growth plans and that means we will be searching for people to join us in the communities in which we operate.
"At a time when the number of young and long-term unemployed continues to increase we will provide opportunities for many people and help them build a career in retailing. That means we won't just be providing a job, we're committed to training our new colleagues so that they have the capability to move from the shop floor to the top floor."
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