Jeremy Oddie, North West chair of R3 and head of recoveries at Mitchell Charlesworth, says: “The recent publicity about the January sales may have distracted attention from the very real problems facing the retail sector. The unpredictability of consumer spending, rising costs, high levels of borrowing and competition between stores and from the internet are amongst the pressures on retailers. Even the bigger, established names are suffering.
“Being realistic, it is not possible to save every struggling retailer and we can expect to lose some more, including some big names before this is over. In these cases, it is important to provide support for those who do lose their jobs. R3 and Jobcentre Plus, with backing from the Ministers for Insolvency and Employment, have agreed to work together to give support to those facing redundancy.
The early warning system allows Jobcentre Plus to target their resources and provide advice and assistance through the Rapid Response Service (RRS). RRS aims to address the effects of job losses on individuals and on the local community by helping people move rapidly into alternative employment without the need to claim welfare benefits.
“To date, some 32,000 individuals facing redundancy have benefitted from this initiative in regard to employment rights and more importantly in assistance to find new jobs”