UK Retailers Struggle to Hire Staff as Demand Surges

UK Retailers Struggle to Hire Staff as Demand Surges

UK retailers are facing a shortage of workers as they try to cope with a surge in demand after the easing of lockdown restrictions. According to a survey by the British Retail Consortium (BRC), 20% of retailers said they had difficulties filling vacancies in the second quarter of 2024, up from 4% in the same period last year.

The BRC said the shortage was partly due to Brexit, which has reduced the supply of EU workers, and partly due to the pandemic, which has disrupted the education and training of young people. The BRC also said that many retail workers had left the sector for other industries, such as hospitality and leisure, which have reopened faster and offer more flexible hours.

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The BRC warned that the shortage could affect the quality and availability of products and services, as well as the ability of retailers to invest in new technologies and sustainability initiatives. The BRC urged the government to review its immigration policy and to support the skills development of the retail workforce.

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The retail sector is one of the largest employers in the UK, with about three million workers. It has been hit hard by the pandemic, which forced many shops to close or limit their operations for months. However, the sector has seen a strong recovery since April, when non-essential shops were allowed to reopen. According to the Office for National Statistics, retail sales in June were 9.5% higher than in February 2020, before the pandemic.

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Source : BBC NEWS

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