A government paper published last week has named retail as an industry that's key to helping limit unemployment and lift the country out of recession.

The Jobs of the Future paper says the retail sector will remain an important source of entry-level positions which will provide job opportunities for those who have been out of work.

The publication comes shortly after a poll by Skillsmart Retail revealed that 57% of Conservative MPs felt that the government did not value the retail sector highly enough.

Skillsmart Retail CEO Anne Seaman said retailers and government should consider the sector as an incubator for jobs, developing employability skills in young people and giving workers the potential to start new businesses.

She added: "Our poll results and last week's announcement are both very encouraging, and together suggest that a future government, no matter which party, would have a commitment to retail and its skills needs."