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Chancellor Rishi Sunak is under pressure to extend the furlough scheme beyond its October cut-off point as job losses soar, and parts of the UK enter a second lockdown.

The FT’s next live Business Clinic will explore how the scheme could be adapted, and we invite readers to share their comments and questions ahead of the live discussion at 12 noon on Tuesday 11 August.

Some groups have predicted UK unemployment could hit 10 per cent by the end of the year. Last week, the Bank of England forecast that unemployment would peak at 7.5 per cent towards the end of 2020 but warned it would take years to return to pre-crisis levels. It said people who stood to lose their jobs in hard-hit sectors lacked the skills needed to find work in those industries likely to start hiring first.

However, initiatives in the chancellor’s summer statement to make it easier to hire trainees and apprentices have come under fire from business groups, with more than half saying they would not be using the “furlough bonus” for retaining staff.

If you run a business, what measures do you think could help you retain staff, or even start hiring again? Do you think that the hardest-hit sectors of the economy should receive greater support, or should the government prioritise money to boost training and skills?

And authorities battle to contain coronavirus outbreaks in Preston, Greater Manchester and Aberdeen, how worried are you about a second lockdown affecting your business?

Presenter Claer Barrett, the FT’s personal finance editor, will be joined by Daniel Thomas, the FT’s chief UK business correspondent. To ask a question or give us your views on this topic, please comment below the story. You can view the discussion by returning to this story at 12 noon on Tuesday, or watch live via the FT’s YouTube channel or LinkedIn page.

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