Co-Operative Creates 3,000 Legal Jobs
The Co-Operative is to create 3,000 new UK jobs in the legal sector as part of an expansion of its services.
The group announced that the jobs will be based at Co-operative Legal Services, which it said will create the largest consumer law business in the country.
It already operates in banking and insurance, is the UK's biggest funeral service provider, the third largest pharmacy chain, and one of Britain's largest farming operations.
Group chief executive Peter Marks said that over the next five years Co-operative Legal Services, which currently operates out of Bristol employing around 450 staff, would open five additional regional hubs across England and Wales and set up a new family law operation in London later this year.
He also confirmed that the group will extend its trial of legal and funeral planning services through 30 branches of the Co-operative Bank and Britannia to encompass all 330 high street branches.
Mr Marks said their ambition was to "fundamentally change the face of legal services and make access far easier".
He said: "We intend to be totally customer focused and will help customers navigate the legal world so that they are much more comfortable with the experience and the outcomes.
"It is envisaged that about 90% of the roles being created will be actual legal functions, with 10% made up of support staff.
"We are particularly keen to use our expansion as a way to offer opportunities to young people.
"Legal apprenticeships and opportunities for study leave will form an important part of this major employment opportunity."
The Co-Op announcement comes as UK jobs at Hewlett Packard are under threat after the US technology firm said it was cutting 8% of its global workforce.
UK unemployment fell for the second time in a row in the three months to March to reach 2.63 million.