John Lewis, Marks & Spencer and Sainsbury’s are amongst the retailers spearheading a new government campaign encouraging businesses to employ more disabled people.
Sarah Newton, the minister for disabled people, is calling on the high street to recognise the skills of disabled people and sign up for the Disability Confident scheme. Launched in November last year, the scheme provides employers with the skills they need to recruit, train and develop disabled employees.
Newton said: “Disabled people can bring a wealth of talent and different perspectives to an organisation, and I want to encourage more retailers to make sure they’re not missing out on this huge untapped pool of talent.
“Becoming Disability Confident sends a clear message to both colleagues and customers that retailers take inclusion seriously and value diversity. We’ve made progress, but I want more retailers to sign up to improve equality of opportunity in this thriving sector and give more disabled people the chance of a fulfilling career.”
Tim Fallowfield, corporate service director at Sainsbury’s, added: “As one of the UK’s leading retailers, we are committed to knowing our customers better than anyone else and a vital part of being able to achieve this is by having a truly diverse colleague base, reflective of the UK population. Through our involvement in the Disability Confident Business Leader’s Group, we’re able to share our experiences and advice with other retailers with the aim to encourage them to have confidence in employing people with a disability, providing these colleagues with the opportunity to realise their potential.”