Early 2013 will see the opening of Marks and Spencer’s new 900,000 sq ft distribution centre in Castle Donington, the largest e-commerce warehouse in the UK.
The retailer has announced that the new centre will see the creation of 1,000 new job roles, from engineers to warehouse operatives to management.
Darrell Stein, director of IT and logistics at M&S called the warehouse “a key part of M&S’ strategy for the future”, citing the company’s ambition to become a leading multi-channel retailer by 2015. The warehouse will distribute two million clothing and home products per week to customer homes and Marks and Spencer stores across the UK.
Furthermore, the company will be adopting a new Plan A employability scheme for people with disabilities and health conditions as one of its recruitment channels for the new centre.
Entitled ‘Marks and Start Logistics’, the scheme will act to recruit and train people with disabilities and health conditions, working in partnership with Remploy Employment Service, which specialises in supporting disabled people in overcoming employment barriers. The move follows on from the Marks and Start scheme already in place in Marks and Spencer stores and offices.
Esther McVey, minister for the disabled, has praised Marks and Spencer’s initiative, stating that, “Although the employment rate of disabled people has improved over the past few years, around half of all disabled people are still not in work and those that are often work far below their potential.”
She continued: “That is why I’d urge other employers to follow the example of M&S and look hard at their recruitment and work practices to make sure they don’t miss out on the extensive talents of disabled people.”
The site at Castle Donington was built with the Plan A employability scheme in mind. It is equivalent to eleven Wembley size football pitches, and could hold 3,507 double decker buses or 2,392 billion Percy Pigs.