Greencore, the Dublin-headquartered sandwich manufacturer, will create thousands of jobs including at its East Midlands sites.
The rapid expansion comes as the firm experienced a spike in demand for its food-on-the-go products as COVID restrictions were eased.
The firm posted half-year losses of £1.8 million for the six months to March 26 against a profit of £27.3 million as demand for food-on-the-go dipped amid the pandemic.
However, it has secured £175 million worth of new deals in recent weeks and is now running at only 5% below pre-COVID levels.
Speaking to Sky News, Patrick Coveney, Group Chief Executive Officer, said: “This has been a challenging period for Greencore, but the consistent build in our revenues since early March as lockdown measures have eased and COVID-19 cases have fallen give us real cause for optimism.
“We’re probably going to bring about 5,000 new people into our production and supply chain network between 1 March and 1 July and that’s a big step-up and does require us to be able to on-board safely lots of new people.”
He said that the new jobs would be created in the sandwich, salad and sushi arms of the business at manufacturing facilities in Worksop, Lincolnshire and Northampton – as well as London and Liverpool.
He added: “They would be the biggest areas where we’re looking to bring new people into the business to meet this very, very strong rebound in demand as the COVID restrictions are being eased.”