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Sainsbury's is to recruit 20,000 temporary staff for the Christmas period

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Sainsbury's is to create 20,000 seasonal jobs over the Christmas period and hopes to retain 1,000 of these as permanent staff.

Employees who enjoy working at Sainsbury's and who have three A levels or equivalent will also be eligible to apply for the new ‘Try before you buy' scheme, which will allow them to train as store managers.

Successful applicants will take part in a year-long training programme designed to help them develop a wide range of skills with an emphasis on management and leadership skills.

Helen Webb, Sainsbury's director of retail HR, said: "If you are enthusiastic and hard- working then Christmas is one of best times to work in retail. We are looking for people who take pride in delivering exceptional customer service and who enjoy working as part of a team.

"Last year nearly 23 million shoppers visited Sainsbury's stores in the week before Christmas and the huge numbers of customers means that our in-store colleagues always have something different to do. In exchange for their hard work we offer successful candidates flexible working hours and a competitive salary."

In addition, the retail giant has announced a recruitment drive in the north of England and Scotland to fill 2,300 recently announced job vacancies in 2010.