Retail Voice CEO Message: 6 July 2022

The latest job vacancy figures released last week by the ABS confirm what many retailers are experiencing. Labour and skill shortages are getting worse, and businesses simply can’t find enough staff, be they frontline roles or more specialist positions in digital and tech.

There were 40,300 vacant positions in retail trade in May, which is up 38.5% compared to February – and is the highest increase recorded out of any other industry.

We’re continuing to advocate for mobilising more mature age workers, pensioners into the workforce, accelerated training solutions and relaxing immigration red tape to get more skilled foreign workers and international students into the country. And we continue to highlight the importance of childcare measures to help increase the participation of parents with young children. The federal government has acknowledged our recommendations and we hope this will lead to some positive measures and address the staffing challenge many are facing.

Businesses are once again bearing the brunt of severe flooding in NSW – for some, this is the fourth time they’ve been impacted over the past 18 months. Disaster assistance is available in 23 local government areas, which includes small business support. If you are affected, we encourage you to visit the National Recovery and Resilience Agency’s website at recovery.gov.au.

Thank you to all retailers who participated in First Responders Day last Thursday. Around a hundred businesses took part with discounts at over a thousand stores across the country. The current flooding disaster in NSW once again highlights the incredible role of our First Responders in times of crisis. Your support for those who serve on the frontlines is much appreciated.

Sustainability outcomes are a top priority for retail and it’s great to see continued progress on the phase out of single-use plastics across the country, with the Queensland government releasing a five-year roadmap. Single-use plastics, including cotton buds with plastic stems, plastic micro-beads and expanded polystyrene loose packaging will be banned from 1 September next year. At the same time, minimum standards for reusability and recycled content for heavy plastic bags are also due to come into effect. You can find more information on the different bans in different jurisdictions through our member resource.
SHARE THIS ARTICLE
Share on linkedin
Share on twitter
Share on facebook

FURTHER READING