The huge recruitment drive means the high street favourite is taking on 1,500 more seasonal staff than the Royal Mail, which is usually the UK’s biggest festive employer.
M&S said rising demand for luxury Christmas food and new store openings mean recruitment numbers are 25 per cent up on last year.
There are openings at 500 stores around the UK and most contracts will run until January, with the possibility of a permanent job for some workers.
Last year 20 per cent of the retail giant’s Xmas temps found permanent work — meaning a potential 4,000 temps could land long term jobs.
Roles include customer assistants, M&S Cafe assistants and store operation jobs. All new recruits take part in a two-day training session and perks include a 20 per cent discount on M&S products.
David Manders, 27, from Kingston-Upon-Thames, Surrey, joined the Epsom branch of M&S last year as a seasonal recruit after being made redundant from his previous job in catering.
He was taken on permanently and is now food section manager at the M&S Clapham store.
David said: “After being made redundant last year, working for M&S has really helped me to get back into work and boost my confidence. My managers recognise my hard work and encourage the development of my skill sets, helping me to excel in a rewarding career.”
Steve Rowe, director of retail at M&S, said: “Customers turn to M&S for the most important occasions, trusting us to deliver delicious Christmas lunch, latest fashions and fantastic customer service.
“This year we’ve joined forces with The Sun to put the call out for 20,000 passionate, confident recruits to help make sure we can meet and exceed our customers’ expectations this festive season.”