- new vision sets out how the Welsh Government, the retail sector and trade unions will work together to develop a successful, innovative, sustainable and resilient sector
- retail is Wales’ biggest private sector employer, providing jobs to more than 114,000 people across the country
- vision sets out ambitions to ensure retail remains at the heart of Welsh communities by offering people fair work and real career opportunities
- includes measures to help the sector overcome workforce recruitment and retention challenges caused by the COVID-19 pandemic and the UK’s exit from the EU, alongside the impact on operating costs and consumer habits caused by the cost-of-living crisis.
The shared strategic vision for the retail sector sets out how the Welsh Government, the sector and trade unions will work together in social partnership to ensure retail has a bright and sustainable future in Wales, which provides fair and rewarding career opportunities for its current and future workers.
The retail sector is hugely important to the Welsh economy. It is Wales’ largest private sector employer, providing jobs to more than 114,000 people, contributing 6% of Wales’ GVA.
The Welsh Government values the jobs, goods, community services and benefits the sector provides. Ministers are committed to working with partners to support a sustainable and prospering retail sector that remains at the heart of Welsh communities, which offers people fair work and real career opportunities.
The changing face of our town centres is vital to retail and in turn our town centres need a successful and resilient retail sector.
The vision outlines the major challenges facing the sector, and defines the key areas where action is needed.
- improving career opportunities within retail, with a commitment to progressively improving pay, terms and conditions beyond statutory minimums, ideally through collective bargaining
- greater job security, particularly in ensuring workers being offered guaranteed hours and sufficient notice of changes in shift patterns.
- retail becoming an exemplar of workforce equality, diversity and inclusion – with proactive steps taken to address under-representation, occupational segregation and pay gaps
- ensuring fair working conditions and a safe working environment, with retail workers having an effective voice in decisions that affect them and their working conditions
- ensuring Wales’ town centres and high streets are thriving, through interventions such as investment, including ‘Transforming Towns’ regeneration investment, support for non-domestic rates and, through the Welsh Government’s Town Centre First approach, making these settings the preferred location for workplaces and services
- addressing skills shortages. Building on the Welsh Government’s Plan for Employability and Skills and in partnership with the sector and trades unions, Ministers are committed to helping to provide the sector with a future-proofed workforce. The plan sets out actions to both upskill existing workers and attract new entrants to the sector
- helping retailers to seize the opportunities of decarbonisation and digitalisation by, for example, reducing their reliance on fossil fuels, minimising the carbon footprint of their supply chains and investing in and maximising the potential use of digital technology.
You can read the full press release from Welsh Government by following this link to the Welsh Government website