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The part-time Christmas jobs that, with hard work, can turn into a career which lasts for life

By Rachel Martin

Published 13/10/2015

Recruiting: Toys ‘R’ Us
Recruiting: Toys ‘R’ Us

Casual Christmas temp jobs could lead to long-term successful careers, Toys 'R' Us' head of development has said.

Employment Minister Dr Stephen Farry echoed the major toy retailer's claim, stating that seasonal opportunities could help jobseekers to develop transferable skills.

He said: "Seasonal opportunities can provide an opportunity for individuals to gain valuable work experience and develop transferable skills that will stand them in good stead to progress their future careers."

In Northern Ireland, Marks and Spencer revealed it plans to take on 620 temporary members of staff across its 18 stores. Royal Mail also announced it will take on 550 seasonal staff to help with the annual Christmas post frenzy.

A spokesperson for Royal Mail explained that while no previous experience is required, applicants need to be punctual and reliable and have the ability to work accurately with attention to detail.

He said: "There are 550 Royal Mail and Parcelforce Worldwide temporary jobs in Northern Ireland available, 475 in our mail centre and in our delivery offices and another 64 jobs at Parcelforce Worldwide in NI. Rates of pay are from £6.70 to £10.21 depending on shifts and the age of the temporary employee."

Meanwhile, Toys 'R' Us has also confirmed it will take on 2,000 temporary staff across the UK, 80 of which will be based in Northern Ireland.

Alastair Hall, head of development for Toys 'R' Us UK said: "I'm always delighted by the quality of colleagues that join our teams to help us give the very best shopping experience to our customers at Christmas.

"Many colleagues go on to develop successful long-term careers with us and many progress into roles with added responsibility. Many of our general store managers and area managers first joined the company as store team members, and because of their energy, enthusiasm and commitment to service they progressed into senior roles. Our commitment to promote from within means that the opportunities for progression are exceptional".

Grafton Recruitment is currently advertising 50 jobs with a retail company who supply staff to help organise and dismantle festive sale displays.

Grafton holds contracts to bring staff into several major high-street retailers across the UK and Ireland to help out with busier times of the year.

Workers need to be mobile and willing to travel but do not need previous experience.

Mark Wylie, commercial manager for temporary contracts at Grafton, said that it was a good opportunity for workers to build a good track record.

He said: "The work will last for two-three months with as many hours as they want. For people looking for a chance to prove themselves and get a good reference it's a great opportunity."

Mr Wylie advised jobseekers looking to get back into work through a seasonal job to make sure they had a strong CV with no spelling mistakes. He added that flexibility can be a strong draw for employers offering entry level positions.

He added: "Remember it's a competition, but if someone wants to work we have a really good team who will help them."

Dr Stephen Farry added: "I would urge those looking at job opportunities to log onto www.jobcentreonline.com.

"My Department's careers advisers can also help by providing assistance with CVs and application forms as well as improving interview techniques.

Information is also available on www.nidirect.gov.uk/careers."

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