Local businesses pledge to to do more for disabled people

Employers in Swindon have pledged to do more to support disabled jobseekers following an event held by MP Justin Tomlinson.

Uplands Choir at Swindons Disability Confident event
Uplands Choir at Swindons Disability Confident event

The Minister for Disabled People greeted several hundred people representing 80 organisations at the event, which was designed to create job opportunities for local disabled people.

The event took place on 23 October, and is part of the Government’s Disability Confident initiative to open employers’ eyes to the wealth of untapped talent available amongst disabled people.

Pledges have now been made by a variety of local employers who recognise the business benefits of hiring a diverse workforce.

Swindon College are setting up a supported internship programme for disabled people, MLL Print will ensure that their next employee is recruited through a disability, employment organisation, Nationwide Building Society pledge to increase the number of disabled candidates applying for their job roles, and maximising accessibility and inclusiveness in the offices, and McDonalds offering work placements for disabled people in a new Swindon branch restaurant.

Wiltshire Police at the Disability Confident event
Wiltshire Police at the Disability Confident event

David Renard, Leader of Swindon Borough Council, was so impressed by the event that he has pledged to sign up the Council to the Disability Confident campaign.

“This was the first ever Reverse Jobs Fair and the turnout was fantastic. Seventy Swindon employers turned up to hear the value disabled people can play in growing their business”, the Minister for Disabled People, Justin Tomlinson said.

Justin Tomlinson MP
Justin Tomlinson MP, Minister for Disabled People

Adding, “This is Swindon at the forefront. I want to see events like this up and down the country. We will follow up on all the pledges to ensure that real, tangible job opportunities are created for local disabled jobseekers.

“Disabled people have the talent; it’s about giving them the chance to show it.”

The event – a “Reverse Jobs Fair” – trialled a new format where local employers, rather than jobseekers, gathered to discuss their specific recruitment needs.

This innovative approach was developed with the support of specialist disability work-providers Pluss and Shaw Trust. The goal of the “Reverse Jobs Fair” is to meet the demands of employers and create lasting employment opportunities for disabled people.

Around several hundred people attended the event, which was well received for the positive outcomes the event was set up to create.