Department store group Debenhams is to create 6,500 additional roles over the festive period.

The retailer is looking for seasonal temps to cope with its busiest period of the year with the new workers covering shifts from mid November until the beginning of January. The jobs will be split across Debenhams’ 163 stores with an average of 40 new staff per store. Roles will range from stock handling and general sales advisor jobs to gift advisor roles.

The retailer is hoping to re-recruit temporary staff who worked for the retailer last year in about 30% of its stores.

Debenhams chief executive Michael Sharp said: “These jobs are sure to be welcomed by local economies during the most financially challenging part of the year.

“Approximately a quarter of staff that work with us over the festive season will stay on in permanent roles, making this a crucial period in our employment calendar.”

Chris Grayling, minister for employment, said: “These roles offer invaluable retail experience for first-jobbers whilst giving those with families the flexible working hours they need.

“We are committed to injecting new life into the economy and this is a great example of how major players in the private sector are playing a key role in that.”