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The latest ONS Labour Market figures have shown there were 3.12m jobs in retail in Q4 2022, down 14,000 year-on-year.

Helen Dickinson, Chief Executive of the British Retail Consortium, said, “Low consumer confidence and falling sales volumes meant many retailers were more cautious in hiring additional workers in the run up to Christmas.

'This was compounded by the need to keep operational costs – and therefore prices - down during the cost of living squeeze.

'This has contributed to the lowest 4Q average retail jobs numbers in over a decade. Not all retail roles have been affected, as ongoing digital transformation has led to the creation of many new well-paid and exciting jobs.

“However, this transformation is held back by the inflexible Apprenticeship Levy system that restricts the breadth of training that employers can offer,' Helen added.

'The Chancellor must use the Budget to reform the Levy and unlock business investment in upskilling employees and creating thousands of more apprenticeship opportunities across the country.'

Helen ended, 'With Levy reform, retailers can equip itself with a workforce with skills fit for the future, leading to better wages, increased productivity, and stronger economic growth.”

(sourceL BRC, image: pexels)