M&S to employ disabled workers at Donington warehouse
Marks & Spencer says it is setting aside jobs at its new distribution centre for disabled people.
The retailer, which is set to employ 1,000 people at the warehouse in Castle Donington, announced yesterday that a proportion of the jobs would be targeted at individuals with disabilities and health conditions.
The company has launched a recruitment programme in partnership with Remploy, which helps disabled people find work.
Remploy, which has its regional office in Leicester, will put forward candidates for the roles including warehouse operatives, engineers, mechanics and administrative staff.
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M&S said it was inspired by a similar programme in America run by pharmacy chain Walgreens, where 30 per cent of warehouse employees have disabilities.
However, the company said the figure was "aspirational" and it had not set targets for how many jobs would go to people with disabilities.
Darrell Stein, director of IT and logistics at Marks & Spencer, said: "After I came back from America, I told the team 'I've got a challenge I want us to take on'.
"I wanted to introduce something like that – and the aim for Castle Donington is to employ as many people as we can with disabilities to contribute to the 1,000 people we will have on site.
Disabled employees will receive two weeks of training and some will be assigned a "buddy" to mentor them while they settle into their jobs.
The huge distribution centre cost "hundreds of millions" of pounds.
Minister for the disabled Esther McVey, who attended the launch, said: "Work is central to people's well-being and it's great there are savvy employers such as M&S which recognise the benefits of employing disabled people.
"There is a role for Government to get more disabled people in jobs because there is a pool of untapped talent."
Beth Carruthers, director of employment services at Remploy, said: "Employment is about more than a job description and this will help transform the lives of scores of disabled people.
"I think this year could be a transformational year for disabled people with the Paralympics. Instead of talking about what disabled people can do, people are talking about their skills and talents."
Anyone interested in jobs at the site should visit: