Numeracy and literacy skills are proving harder to find in the search for the right staff for stores. Safeway revealed that 40% of applicants for checkout assistant posts failed a simple test at its branch in Stratford, East London, while another 20% were labelled "borderline". The questions involve finding a plumber's telephone number in a business directory and writing their name, address and postcode on an application form. A Safeway spokesman said: "As London has a very high level of employment, Safeway does find it harder than the rest of the UK to recruit employees who wish to pursue careers in the retail trade." {{NEWS }}

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