Dec 3, 2020
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PM told to formulate retail support plan as jobs cull continues

Dec 3, 2020

The British government is under increasing pressure to come up with extra support for retail jobs with recent company failures leading to tens of thousands of current and potential job losses.

Retail hiring and job numbers are falling and the government is under pressure to act - Photo: Public domain

The leader of the opposition pressed Prime Minister Boris Johnson on the issue in Parliament this week, while Linked-In also said on Thursday that retail hiring is falling.

It said it was down 20% in October, which pre-dates the latest English lockdown and many of the worst retailer failures.

Josh Graff, UK Country Manager at LinkedIn, said: “The pandemic has accelerated the shift to online shopping and in-store staff are paying the highest price. We know that people in the retail sector are passionate about their work and have highly transferable skills, specifically in customer service and experience. Forward-thinking companies will look past candidates’ current employment status and instead focus on their skill set, related previous experience and overall potential when making hiring decisions.”

Meanwhile, in Parliament, Labour leader Keir Starmer urged the government to come up with a “comprehensive plan” to save retail jobs following the Arcadia and Debenhams news this week.

So far, Business Secretary Alok Sharma has tweeted that support will be available, but no details have been released.

Starmer told Johnson to “work with us, with the trade unions and the sector to finally bring forward a comprehensive plan to save retail jobs and provide the sector with much greater support”.

And Conservative MPs have also called on the government to extend the business rates holiday that’s due to end in April.

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