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Retail: Employment

Volume 715: debated on Monday 7 December 2009

Question

Asked by

To ask Her Majesty's Government what is their response to proposals from the retail sector regarding green infrastructure, skills and employment in United Kingdom retailing. [HL182]

Ministers and officials in my department have frequent discussions with retailers and their representative organisations on all these issues and will continue to do so. In addition, the Retail Policy Forum, which is broadly representative of the sector, meets regularly to engage with the Government on emerging policy challenges and opportunities.

The Government fully recognise the important role retail can play in developing and implementing environmental priorities, and welcome the input of retailers and their trade bodies. My right honourable friend the Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills announced on 23 September that BIS is working with the retail sector to develop a low carbon action plan for retail, which will be in place by spring next year.

The UK Low Carbon Industrial Strategy sets out our plans to help industry to maximise the economic opportunities and minimise the costs of the transition to a low carbon economy. Our national skills strategy “Skills for Growth” and the higher education strategy “Higher Ambitions” take fully into account the need for a greater number of skilled technicians to work with the new and emerging green technologies, of which retailers will be an extensive user. We are also working closely with Skillsmart Retail to develop a retail skills strategy to explore levers for and barriers to maximising retail skills provision.