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Ministers discuss bringing in the army to deal with fuel crisis

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Fuel Shortage 2

An emergency meeting has been called by senior ministers to discuss bringing in the army to help with the nationwide fuel crisis.

On Thursday, chaos broke out after BP garages announced they had to temporarily close some of their petrol stations due to a shortage of delivery drivers.

Fears circulated as some speculated a fuel shortage and petrol stations were swarmed by panic buyers.

The government and media outlets have since reassured the public that there is ‘plenty of fuel at UK refineries and terminals’ and the closures were due to a lack of fuel tanker drivers.

UK Prime Minister, Boris Johnson, is expected to consider an emergency plan to bring in soldiers to deliver fuel to petrol stations that have been left empty due to panic buying.

Kwasi Kwarteng, the business secretary, said: “The UK continues to have strong supplies of fuel. However, we are aware of supply chain issues at fuel station forecourts and are taking steps to ease these as a matter of priority.

“If required, the deployment of military personnel will provide the supply chain with additional capacity as a temporary measure to help ease pressures caused by spikes in localised demand for fuel.”

Measures to overcome the crisis include a suspension of competition law between oil firms and temporary visas have been offered to foreign fuel and food lorry drivers after key workers around the country have been unable to carry out their essential jobs without fuel.

London mayor, Sadiq Khan, said: “As the current reductions in fuel delivery affect petrol stations across the capital, it is essential that key workers are able to get fuel to travel to work and provide the services our city needs.”

However, the fuel supply chain is just one of many that has suffered due to the shortage of HGV drivers.

Retail and food industries have also reported breakdowns in the chain supply as reports show the UK is set to be around 100,000 HGV drivers short.

The coronavirus pandemic and Brexit are said to be the leading factors as overseas workers have returned home as well as a backlog of heavy goods vehicle driving tests.

Have you been affected by the shortages – let us know on our social media below..

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Toys ‘R’ Us To Reopen UK Stores ‘Within Months’

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Toys ‘R’ Us is set to make a sudden return to the UK almost four years after the firm vanished.

The toy shop chain were forced to close all of its branches following its collapse in 2018. But the plans for its revival are now in motion after Toys ‘R’ Us’ signed a licence agreement to bring “digital and physical retail commerce” back to the UK.

The Mirror reports that the firm is now ramping up recruitment with plans to relaunch the brand within months. The news was confirmed after a simple message “we’re back in 2022” was added to its newly relaunched UK website.

Louis Mittoni, who is leading the relaunch and is Toys ‘R’ Us Australia chief executive, said: “I’m very excited to welcome over 100 years of retailing experience in our new team, who will lead the relaunch our iconic brand back into the UK market in the next few months. We have an amazing toy and baby buying team, which I believe is the best in the country.

“With this team now in place, we’re hitting the ground running and have been reaching out to the supply base to see with whom we can align on this amazing journey.”

Toys ‘R’ Us was branded the ‘world’s first toy supermarket ’ when it first opened stores in the UK in 1985.

Are you excited to see the toy superstore back?

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That Thursday Feeling: Companies Gear Up For Change To Four-Day Working Week

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First it was working from home. Now it is the four-day working week that is stirring up business life in ways that would have seemed unthinkable before Covid-19.

The UK pilot is running in conjunction with similar programmes in the US, Ireland, Canada, Australia and New Zealand. Spain has also launched a separate trial.

Organisers say numerous studies have shown the four-day week boosts productivity and workers’ mental and physical health. When Microsoft trialled it in Japan, productivity went up 40 percent.

Not only is it said to have an improvement for the workers but also the economy. Economic researchers claimed a three-day weekend would boost high street sales by an estimated £58billion. This is due to the longer weekend giving shoppers not only more time to buy, eat out and socialise, but also increase spending related to hobbies such as gardening and DIY. They claim it is a “win-win scenario” for workers and employers.

Currently, just 7 per cent of managers have launched it, or have decided to do so.

Nearly half of those without a shorter week say they are more likely to consider the concept than they were before the pandemic, but almost 30 per cent say they would never consider it. Research also shows female bosses were slightly keener on the shorter week than men: 64 per cent versus 57 per cent.

It looks like the four-day week could become a hot issue at the next general election, despite a lukewarm response when championed by former Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn back in 2019.

Would you prefer to work four days a work instead of five? Let us know over on social media!

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The Apprentice: Meet Your 2022 Candidates

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The full line-up for the 2022 series of The Apprentice has finally been released ahead of the show’s long awaited return.

After being rested for two years due to the Covid pandemic, the much loved show returns tomorrow, Jan 6.

Candidates this year include a former rugby player, eco warrior, a ‘witch school’ graduate and the self-dubbed ‘Asian version of Lord Sugar’ to name a few. The 16-person group will battle it out in the boardroom in a bid to nab Lord Sugar’s £250,000 investment for their business.

This year’s group features eight women and eight men from a wide range of business backgrounds, with specialists in online pyjama sales, the retail industry and the food and drink market.

With this year’s show set to be the toughest year yet, trying to pitch business ideas and sales throughout a global pandemic.

They’ll also be a change this year to Lord Sugar’s aides, with long time advisor Baroness Karren Brady and series one winner Tim Campbell, replacing Claude Littner for the series while he recovers from multiple surgeries following a serious E-Bike accident.

The Apprentice returns tomorrow, Jan 6 at 9pm on BBC1.

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