The Government is calling on British retailers to sign up to the Disability Confident scheme, which aims to showcase the benefits of employing disabled people.

First launched in November 2016, the Disability Confident scheme provides employers with the skills, examples and confidence they need to recruit, retain and develop disabled employees, and was developed with employers, disability charities, and disabled people.

The call for action comes as the Government reveals that there are around 123,000 vacancies in the retail and wholesale industry and the government’s ambition is to see one million more disable people in work by 2027, and states that there is “huge potential” for the retail and wholesale sector.

Sarah Newton, the minister for disabled people, health and work, said: “Disabled people can bring a wealth of talent and different perspectives to an organisation, and I want to encourage more retailers to make sure they’re not missing out on this huge untapped pool of talent.

“We’ve made progress, but I want more retailers to sign up to improve equality of opportunity in this thriving sector and give more disabled people the chance of a fulfilling career.”

The new campaign is being spearheaded by retail leaders, including the British Retail Consortium, Sainsbury’s, John Lewis, Marks and Spencer and the Post Office.

Helen Dickinson, chief executive of the British Retail Consortium added: “The retail industry wants to be a diversity and inclusion leader in order to harness the talents of the whole labour market. Disability Confident is an incredibly useful scheme that provides practical support to enable retailers to recruit and retain colleagues with disabilities.

“As a Disability Confident employer ourselves, along with some of our members, we look forward to working with the government to drive awareness of the scheme and increase the number of Disability Confident employers from across the retail industry.”

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