01/12/2011 03:36 GMT

Starbucks To Create 5,000 Jobs With 'Drive-Through Coffee'

Global coffeehouse chain Starbucks has revealed plans to create up to 5,000 jobs over the next five years as it ramps up its drive-through business in the UK.

The 30-year-old coffee giant, which has nearly 9,000 company-owned stores and just over 8,000 licensed outlets in more than 50 countries, wants to expand the number of drive-through branches in the UK from nine to 200.

Starbucks said around half of the drive-throughs will be operated under licence by petrol forecourt retailer Euro Garages, which mainly operates in the north of England, while the remaining stores will be company owned.

The announcement, which comes two weeks after official figures revealed youth unemployment had exceeded one million, was welcomed by Prime Minister David Cameron, who said it was a "great boost to the British economy".

Starbucks said the 200 drive-through outlets, in addition to 100 conventional store openings, would see some 5,000 jobs created in the UK.

Kris Engskov, managing director of Starbucks UK & Ireland, said the expansion plans would particularly benefit young jobseekers as half the chain's baristas are under 24 years old.

Starbucks has expanded into different marketplaces in the UK including trains, planes, supermarkets and workplaces. In 2010, it opened 35 motorway stores with Welcome Break.