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M&S introduce new employment scheme for people with disabilities

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Marks & Spencer is to create 1,000 new job opportunities as part of a wide environmental and ethical programme PLAN A, which will recruit, train and employ people with disabilities and health conditions.

The new job opportunities, which will include roles such as warehouse operatives, engineers, mechanics administrative staff, transport controllers and management, will be open for both contractors and permanent workers. 

The latest Marks & Spencer scheme – Marks & Start Logistics – will work alongside Remploy Employment Service to hire people for a new 900,000sq ft distribution centre in Castle Donington, Leicestershire, which is set to open its doors at the beginning of next year.

The warehouse will distribute two million clothing and home products a week direct to customer homes and M&S stores across the country.

Tanith Dodge, HR director at M&S, said, “Around 10 million disabled people live in the UK and only 49 per cent are in employment compared to 78 per cent of non-disabled people. It doesn’t have to be this way. Our experience tells us that people who face barriers to the work place are committed, motivated and valued employees.”

Esther McVey, minister for the disabled, added, “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.

“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.”

Beth Carruthers, Director of Employment Services at Remploy, said, “I applaud M&S for this commitment – this wonderful new distribution centre will provide jobs for a large number of disabled people in the East Midlands, allowing them to maximise their talent.”

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