The John Lewis Partnership is the biggest private employer in the country, with almost 85,000 members of staff. The company, which unsurprisingly owns John Lewis department stores as well as Waitrose, has seen profits grow to almost £200m over the last few years.
With almost 80,000 employees, Swire is the second biggest private employer in the country. The company, which was founded around 200 years ago, controls a range of businesses from deep-sea shipping to agricultural activities.
Alliance Boots comes third in our list of the biggest employers, with just under 75,000 members of staff to its name. The multinational company owns Boots pharmacies, as well as No7 skincare and Soltan suncare products.
With 56,000 employees, the OCS Group is a giant when it comes to UK employment. Like Swire, the company has its fingers in many pies, dealing with catering, cleaning and horticulture.
The Arcadia Group is well known for running most of the UK’s biggest clothing chains, including Topshop, Burton, Dorothy Perkins and BHS, and with almost 45,000 employees they’re one of the leaders in UK employment too.
Over 30,000 employees make up the backbone of the Specsavers chain, which has offered optician services since 1984. The company is well known for selling glasses made by famous designers.
Founded in 1930, Wilkinson is a massive UK employer, with around 23,000 employees in 364 locations. The chain sells everything from kitchen products to confectionary.
New Look is a global fashion retailer with at least 30,000 employers around the world, most of them based in the UK. The chain has stores in 12 countries, from Singapore to Azerbaijan.
Shop Direct is a multi-brand online retailer in the UK, with over 18,000 employees. After a merger involving struggling businesses in 2005, the company owns Very, Littlewoods, Isme and Woolworths.
With around 18,000 employees, the Gala Coral group is a big private employer in the country. The company mainly owns betting and gambling sites, rather unsurprisingly including Gale Bingo and Coral.
While the UK unemployment rate is now down to 7.1%, it's still hard to find a job in such a competitive market. Companies are employing less people to do more work in order to save money, and it's not easy to get that all important foot in the door.
A good place to start looking for a job could be at big companies with lots of staff. We've compiled a list of the top ten biggest private employers in the UK for you to take a look at.
- The John Lewis Partnership curently has well over 100 jobs available, from retail to management.
- If you're looking into a job with Swire you'll have to get in touch with one of their offices.
- There are almost 700 jobs available with Alliance Boots at the moment, all over the world.
- Jobs applications are open in all sectors at OCS Group around the company.
- Arcadia Group is currently looking for retail and head office staff members.
- Specsavers is currently looking for almost 1000 members of staff for all areas of the company.
- Wilkinsons are hunting for communcations managers to work with them.
- Engineers and merchandising experts are in demand at New Look at the moment.
- Jobs are available in nine different sectors of the company with Shop Direct.
- Gala Coral are looking for staff in the bingos, casinos and betting shops.
Check out the slide show for the top 10 biggest private employers in the UK...