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 Christmas Chaos: Recruitment Expert Warns Gifts Could Be Delayed

Christmas Chaos: Recruitment Expert Warns Gifts Could Be Delayed

An award-winning Derby recruitment firm has warned that a dire shortage of logistics and distribution workers could cause major delays in the delivery of presents this Christmas.

Sky Recruitment Solutions, based on The Strand, has been a specialist provider of staff for industrial roles since 2014 – and in the wake of unprecedented challenges to the UK’s employment market, the firm’s managing director, David Torrington, believes we need to shop early in order to make sure Santa arrives on time.

He said:

“Even before the Covid-19 pandemic, it was clear that distribution centres were beginning to struggle.

“In fact, a severe labour shortage had already begun developing at the start of 2019, as migrant workers reacted to the UK’s Brexit uncertainty by relocating to EU member countries that could guarantee their employment status.”

While that alone would have been enough to cause problems for the UK’s blue-collar industries, the impact of the migrant worker exodus has since been exacerbated by a couple of additional factors.

David said:

“Ironically, the Covid-19 pandemic has created an unprecedented surge in online shopping at exactly the same time as vital supply chain labour has experienced a sharp decline.

“That’s put huge pressure on manufacturing, warehouse and distribution networks to meet demand – and because Covid-19 restrictions have also caused major disruption to the UK’s working hours, these industries are simply less able to cope.”

David’s assessment is powerfully backed up by the Office for National Statistics, which shows that more than 36% of UK consumers have been shopping online at least weekly since the onset of Covid-19 restrictions. That’s up from around 28% pre-lockdown.

Of course, as unemployment continues to rise and Rishi Sunak’s new UK employment support plan replaces the existing furlough scheme, there’s every chance that greater numbers of workers will change career paths and take up the slack in the blue-collar sector. In the meantime, however, David’s advice is clear...

He added:

“From a consumer perspective, my advice is simply for people to get their Christmas presents ordered as early as possible.

“While that is likely to increase the short-term pressure on the UK’s already strained logistics and distribution networks, it means you’re far less likely to become a casualty of supply chain problems further down the line.”

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