KFC UK and Ireland has announced plans to create a further 5,400 jobs following a surge in takeaway demand through the coronavirus crisis.

On top of the 4,300 roles the fast-food giant has created since March, the new recruitment drive will be aimed at 16 to 24-year-olds, and run across all 965 of its restaurants.

The brand has said it will utilise the governments £2bn Kickstart Scheme to subsidise its hiring, which distributes funding to pay the national minimum wage to get young people back to work.

Although the scheme is only expected to run until December 2021, all new KFC roles will be on a permanent or part time basis and will offer at least 25 hours a week.

“There’s no denying it’s been a tough year for the hospitality sector, and we’re already seeing the substantial impact of that across our high streets and city centres,” said Paula MacKenzie, KFC UK & Ireland General Manager.

“The vast majority of our restaurants are run by franchisees, which are often smaller family owned businesses that have faced the unique set of challenges of this year, including the complete closure of restaurants in March.

“We’re proud to have been able to work together to reopen responsibly and in turn ensure the stability of our restaurants and provide new job openings into the industry at this time.”