Marks & Spencer will take on 20,000 seasonal staff over Christmas.

The high street giant today said it would take on 5,000 more seasonal staff in 2012 than it did for last year’s festive trading period.

One in five of last year’s temporary recruits were subsequently taken on permanently, M&S said.

“Customers turn to M&S for the most important occasions, trusting us to deliver delicious Christmas lunch, latest fashions and fantastic customer service,” said retail director Steve Rowe.

“We want to make sure our customers’ needs are met, so we’re putting the call out for 20,000 passionate, service-centred recruits to come join the team and help make it a merry Christmas for millions of M&S shoppers.”