With shoppers favouring online purchasing to that of traditional store-based sales, the full impact of job losses in the sector has been revealed as the government’s furlough scheme begins to wind down.
Official data released earlier this month showed that retail positions fell by 78,000 between June and September with further job losses expected at the end of 2020 and the beginning of 2021.
Economics consultancy Pantheon Macroeconomics has predicted that a quarter of a million jobs in wholesale and retail could disappear by next summer, as surveys of employers’ hiring intentions and vacancy rates were consistent with a net loss of 200,000 to 230,000 jobs.
With the retail sector in the UK employing in excess of 3 million people, those seeking new employment opportunities are looking to related sectors such as warehousing and logistics in order to transfer their current skills to a new position.
As the warehousing sector has been booming over the past year due to first Brexit and later the Covid-19 pandemic, finding experienced warehousing staff to plug the skills gap has been a challenge for many warehouse managers so are now looking at retraining individuals from the retail sector to help keep up with unprecedented demand.
Midland Pallet Trucks, a provider of high-quality materials handling equipment including pallet trucks, manual stacker trucks and lift tables, welcomes new employees to the warehousing sector to help relieve some of the pressure on current staff, however, they are warning HR managers to be cautious and ensure that all new staff are given a full introduction to lifting equipment and lifting safety to avoid painful musculoskeletal injuries.
As experts in lift and material handling equipment commonly found in warehouses, the company knows just how important having a good supply of quality lifting equipment can be to safeguard against injuries. It urges warehouse managers to offer training to new staff to ensure that they are using all supplied equipment properly.
Phil Chesworth, Managing Director of Midland Pallet Trucks, said “With the warehousing sector crying out for team members during what is their busiest period on record, it’s wonderful to see retail staff taking an interest in new vacancies that are opening up within the sector as they have some of the skills needed to start a successful new career in warehousing already at their disposal.
“However, warehousing managers should still offer training on lifting equipment to make sure that any avoidable accidents and injuries do not take place during what is set to be one of the most demanding periods in warehousing sector history.