Analysis: How coronavirus has hindered social mobility in retail

Apprenticeships have been put on hold

The coronavirus pandemic has led to job losses and stemmed career progression across retail, but it seems that young people and those on low incomes have been the hardest hit. Rosie Shepard reports.

While coronavirus may not discriminate, the effects of the pandemic have hit some parts of society harder than others.

Research from McKinsey & Company revealed that 7.6 million jobs are now at risk across the UK, with those on the lowest wages the most vulnerable.

Almost 50% of jobs on the line are in occupations earning less than £10 per hour, far below the average UK wage of £13.30 per hour last year.

Meanwhile, the proportion of jobs at risk in the lowest-income regions of the UK, such as Blackpool and Stoke-on-Trent, is between 23% to 29%, whereas just 18% to 25% of jobs in the highest-income regions are vulnerable.

It’s no secret that the retail sector has suffered its own issues as customers and retailers alike tighten their belts to help weather the storm.

To date, almost 125,000 retail jobs have been lost this year and with 13,867 stores closed permanently so far in 2020, according to the Centre for Retail Research, many of these roles will have come from the shop floor. 

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