Retail squeeze likely to hit jobs and training

The director-general of the British Retail Consortium has warned of potential cuts in training and recruitment in the retail sector, following a slow-down in consumer spending.

In an interview with the Times yesterday, Stephen Robertson said that retailers were under increasing pressure to hold fire on recruitment plans and training initiatives.

A spokesperson for the British Retail Consortium told Personnel Today that flexible and part-time workers were most likely to be affected.

Robertson called on the Bank of England to cut interest rates by up to half a percentage point, or face potential job cuts in high street retail stores.

“There’s lots of talk about job cuts at the moment. Every prudent retailer is looking at cost-cutting more seriously than they have done for some time,” Robertson said.

“The Bank of England should take a quarter-point off rates, and it’s even getting to the stage where a half-point is not unreasonable. If the economy slows down dramatically you have got to realise that one in nine people employed in the UK is employed in retail,” he added.

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