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900,000 retail jobs could disappear in next decade, according to BRC

The latest report from the British Retail Consortium (BRC) has predicted that up to 900,000 jobs in retail will go in the next decade. It says that this is the result of digital growth, shop closures and the introduction of the National Living Wage as well as the apprenticeship levy.


Wayne Brophy, managing director of Cast UK, has commented on the report:


“There is no denying the unprecedented growth of digital (sic) has disrupted the retail sector and created a seismic shift in the kind of roles that are now coming to the fore.


“As the BRC report suggests, the retail landscape is changing at a significant rate, with a depleted high street posing challenges for retailers navigating the dynamics of bricks and mortar alongside online shopping to enhance the consumer experience.


“Retail organisations will certainly feel the squeeze when it comes to the introduction of the National Living Wage, as well as the apprenticeship levy, which will have an impact on the balance sheet.


“While this means a contracted workforce overall, it creates opportunities in specialist areas. As the supply chain is becoming more automated and technology-driven, we’re seeing a definite surge in demand from clients requiring ecommerce experience, as they want to attract technically-savvy candidates who are adept at working in a fast-paced supply chain environment.


“We’re also witnessing an increase in systems implementation roles as companies look to update their systems and technology. There is still a marked skills gap (or chasm even) when it comes to experienced ecommerce candidates, so we’ll often see contractors being appointed to set up new systems.


“Ultimately, the drivers for change in the retail environment are a reminder to ensure that HR and recruitment advisers are working with senior managers to plan restructures and develop a resourcing model that can not only survive but thrive in this brave new world.”  

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