Delivery giant Hermes has said it plans to create some 10,500 jobs in the UK after seeing a surge in demand from people shopping at home during the coronavirus lockdown.

The mooted roles include 1,500 full-time positions across its head office and delivery network and a further 9,000 freelance couriers, according to the BBC.

In creating the new roles, Hermes said it would also not accept any money from the government’s job retention bonus scheme. 

Hermes boss Martijn de Lange said: “The pandemic has expedited the already phenomenal growth of online shopping and we see no sign of this changing.

“As a result, it is important that we have the right infrastructure and people in place to support this. This is good news for the many people who have sadly had their income affected and we are pleased to be able to support the UK economy with so many jobs at this time.”

The announcement by the German delivery firm will offer a bit of welcome relief following weeks of high-profile businesses across the retail, hospitality and leisure sectors slashing jobs. 

On Tuesday Marks & Spencer and Ted Baker announced they would be cutting some 1,500 roles between them. Other businesses to have made redundancies in recent months include Harrods, TM Lewin, White Stuff and institutional shopping centre landlord Intu. 

Hermes said it had already been inundated with applications for the roles from former bar staff, shop workers, hairdressers and even former pilots. 

The delivery firm said that it would be investing £100m this year into expanding its network in the UK and had already opened 90 new sub-depots in 2020. 

It becomes the latest retail business to forgo the government’s furlough job retention scheme, which offers firms £1,000 for every employee they retain after January 2021.