Finding A New Job in the Pandemic

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  • Retail veteran Robin Rycroft has been working in the industry for 40 years. He was most recently a regional manager of a U.K. retail chain until he lost his job during the Covid-19 pandemic.

    Through the #FeedTheNation initiative by recruitment firm Staffline Group, Rycroft found a new job in a supermarket warehouse. The initiative is pairing furloughed or jobless people to the surging labour demand from supermarkets and food process plants.

    Although Rycroft said he didn’t expect to be working there, he is enjoying the job and grateful that he has an income during the pandemic.

    The number of Britons seeking jobless benefits spiked the most on record last month as the coronavirus lockdown sent shock waves through the U.K. economy.

    Jobless claims rose 856,500 to more than 2 million in April, the Office for National Statistics said Tuesday. The claimant count rate climbed to 5.8%, the highest in more than two decades. The figures include some people who are still working but have experienced a loss of earnings.

    The shutdown of the economy since March 23 is taking a heavy toll, pushing the U.K. into what could be its deepest recession for three centuries. While unemployment is forecast to rise, the government’s furlough program has saved about 8 million jobs, limiting the damage to the labor market.

    Simon Rouse, managing director of PeoplePlus, a subsidiary of Staffline Group, encouraged workers to pick up new skills from sectors that they might not have consider previously. “Even if the job is temporary, the future prospect for you with other employers of showing that attitude is really important,” Rouse said.

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