Lidl Luton RDC rendering

Source: Lidl

An artist’s impression of how the Luton distribution centre will look when completed

Lidl has become the latest supermarket to offer to support Ukrainian refugees with jobs.

The discounter has over 3,000 vacancies across the business and has contacted the government to explore how it can support refugees from Ukraine with employment opportunities, it said today.

It also said its expansion programme – including plans for its biggest distribution centre globally, in Luton – would see 1,200 new warehouse jobs created by the end of 2025.

Lidl joins a growing list of supermarkets to offer jobs for refugees, with Iceland, Aldi, Morrisons and Asda having made similar announcements since 7 March.

“We are shocked and saddened by the events unfolding in Ukraine,” said Lidl GB CEO Ryan McDonnell. “As an international business, we are donating €10m in funds, food, textiles and hygiene products in the neighbouring countries to Ukraine to get essential products as quickly as possible to those displaced by the crisis.

“In addition to this we are keen to explore ways in which we can provide support here in Great Britain. We have thousands of live job vacancies and so we are in contact with government to understand how we can help individuals coming from Ukraine with employment opportunities.”

Lidl said it had already begun recruiting staff for its new 1.2 million sq ft distribution centre in Luton, construction of which began last year. The site is set to open in 2023 and will serve over 150 stores in London and the surrounding counties once fully operational.

“This new distribution centre – the largest in any Lidl market globally – signifies our continued commitment to expansion across Great Britain and the creation of local jobs,” said McDonnell.

“At a time when many households are struggling, we are more focused than ever on giving more communities access to our unrivalled quality-value combination, whilst taking care of our own colleagues by paying them wages that are higher than the cost of living.

“Our competitive pay and benefits is already helping to attract new colleagues, and we’re looking forward to welcoming 1,200 new people to our workforce soon.”

Roles Lidl aims to fill over the course of the next year range from warehouse operatives and operation managers to support roles in HR and payroll.

Team managers earn up to £80,000 plus a company car, the discounter said, while its minimum hourly wage is £10.10, higher than both the national living wage and the voluntary real living wage.

The Luton warehouse is part of discounter’s £1.3bn investment in expansion in Britain in 2021 and 2022.

In February this year alone, it opened 13 new stores across the country, including in Hounslow, Burton upon Trent and Blairgowrie, collectively creating about 520 new jobs, it said.