Continuing its retail expansion, Apple has confirmed two new UK stores in Manchester and Sheffield.

The company has begun recruiting for the two stores, scheduled to open at Meadowhall in Sheffield and the Trafford Centre in Manchester "later this year".

A note on the company's Web site says: "If you’re looking for a rewarding environment in which to build your career using your special talents, and if working at Apple is your dream job, you might just be one of the passionate individuals we’re looking for."

The company is recruiting for three general job descriptions: Mac Genius, Mac Specialist or an Inventory Specialist. Limited management positions also appear available.

The news brings the number of confirmed Apple retail stores in the UK to five: London Regents Street; Birmingham's Bull Ring Centre; Bluewater in Kent; Sheffield Meadowhall and Manchester Trafford Centre.

Apple recently added to its non-US retail stores with the opening of a store in Canada, Toronto. Apple also has three Japanese stores.

During a recent flying visit to London Apple CEO Steve Jobs revealed plans to open an Apple Store in Paris on the Champs Élysées in 2007.

Speaking to analysts recently Apple's chief financial officer Peter Oppenheimer said: "We expect to end fiscal 2005 with 125 stores, including ten outside the US."

The tenth non-US store remains to be confirmed.