Shropshire businesses were today challenged to put talent before disability by a leading employment charity campaigning for workforce diversity.
Days after receiving a royal seal of approval with a Queen’s Award for Promoting Opportunity, Landau is calling for employers to sign a new pledge as part of its landmark We See You initiative.
Organisations are being asked to become disability confident employers, provide training for staff, make workplace adjustments and adopt a ‘talent first not disability’ culture to drive greater inclusivity.
They can sign the pledge from today (Monday, May 10), the start of Mental Health Awareness Week, and it will be available throughout 2021 for businesses to commit their support.
Sonia Roberts, CEO for the Wellington-based charity, said: “Launching this pledge is a significant step in our campaign for achieving greater workplace diversity nationally and we do hope businesses will show their support by signing up.
“Around 8.4 million working aged people in the UK have a disability and that includes those with a mental illness or learning disability. However, alarmingly, only 52% of these people are in paid employment.
“This demonstrates we have a lot of work still to do in terms of increasing diversity across workplaces in general, but businesses can start to make a difference today by signing our pledge.
“Taking simple steps such as providing training to staff on how they can support people with mental illness or a learning disability can instantly create more inclusive work environments for everyone.
“Understanding an individual’s needs and making simple adjustments in the workplace to support them can also promote efficiency and creativity and its these things we are asking businesses to think about and show a commitment to.
“Attracting job applications from people with a disability can have a wide range of positive benefits for employers — from widening the talent pool of potential candidates to increasing workplace productivity and job retention.”
The We See You initiative was launched in March by Landau to showcase to business the inspirational stories of some of the 3,000 people a year, including military veterans and those with mental health and other personal challenges, which the organisation is helping into long-term, sustainable employment.
Founded 25 years ago, the charity is a leading example nationally when it comes to operating with a diverse workforce with 24% of its employees recognised as having a disability.
Last year, it became a nationally recognised Centre of Excellence for its IPS service and the work it does to help people with mental health conditions secure sustainable employment.
The service has also been recognised nationally by The RAND Corporation — an independent research organisation that guides changes in public policy — and in 2020 it became the highest scoring RAND reviewed service in the UK.
Currently, 25% of Landau’s service users are categorised as having mental health issues and this is a figure which continues to rise, in large part, due to the impact of the coronavirus pandemic.
The charity has training sites across the Midlands and has an online presence spanning the whole of England and Scotland.
To find out more about the organisation and to sign the ‘We See You’ pledge visit https://www.landau.co.uk/we-see-you/
You can also follow @landaulimited on Facebook, Landau Limited on LinkedIn and @landaulimited on Twitter.