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Apprentice levy to cause retail job losses

The apprenticeship levy could cause “significant” job losses in retail, according to the boss of Britain’s biggest business lobby group the Confederation of British Industry.

Carolyn Fairbairn, who was appointed as the first female director-general of the CBI in November, told The Sunday Times Chancellor George Osborne had “not fully understood” how Britain’s employers would be hit by the 0.5% levy, which was announced in the autumn statement last month.

Fairbairn warned that job losses were “inevitable” in low-paid sectors such as retailing, hospitality, care and food manufacturing as companies are already strained by the higher national living wage that starts in April, higher pension costs and a government failure to reform business rates.

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