Aldi is opening a training centre as it looks to recuit 5,500 workers

Aldi is to hire up to 5,550 workers this year in order to keep up with rapid growth.

The discount retailer said it was on course to open 55 new stores this year – it currently has 514 UK stores – and will also extend the space in 30 of its existing stores. This will include making more room for chillers on fresh lines such as meat, fruit and vegetables after seeing a spike in sales.

The new hires will consist of 5,000 store staff, 150 store managers and 400 assistant store managers.

The discounter has also created Aldi Academy, a new training school at its Middleton distribution centre. The academy will relocate to Aldi’s distribution centre in Bolton when it opens in 2016. New recruits will receive a 12-week training course at the academy.

“Our stores are becoming much busier, so we require additional staff to maintain the excellent customer service which our customers expect,” said James Hutcheson, MD for the Aldi Academy.

Hutcheson said the desire to work for Aldi rivalled the desire to work for the big-four supermarkets.

“It is undoubtedly a challenge for Aldi to recruit thousands of staff during the next nine months, but with roles available in all UK stores, we believe there is a strong desire to work for a successful and growing retailer,” he said.

“The launch of the Aldi Academy will ensure that recruitment and training is standardised across the whole of the Aldi UK business, and we have appointed a team of dedicated and experienced professionals to deliver this, both for new starters and existing employees.”