“It’s fantastic to have a job again, working for such a great company. Sometimes I have to pinch myself to make sure I’m not dreaming.”
A Nottingham man who had been unemployed for almost two decades is celebrating being back in work thanks to an innovative partnership between Remploy and Marks & Spencer.
Adrian Cooper was made redundant from his job as a warehouse operative in the mid-1990s after sustaining a serious leg injury which also affected his back and neck and resulted in years of chronic pain.
Earlier this year Adrian was referred to Remploy’s employment services branch in Nottingham where he received tailored support with job searching, interview techniques and confidence building. The support paid off when he became one of the first Remploy candidates employed at Marks & Spencer’s new state-of-the art distribution centre in Castle Donington, Leicestershire.
“Two things turned my life around,” said Adrian. “Attending a pain clinic at Nottingham City Hospital and the support I received from Remploy. My employment advisors at Remploy’s Nottingham branch were absolutely brilliant. If it hadn’t been for them I’m sure I wouldn’t be working here now.”
As part of its commitment to inclusivity, Marks & Spencer is launching an employability programme, Marks & Start Logistics, to support people with disabilities and health conditions into jobs at its Castle Donington site.
Partnering with Marks & Spencer, Remploy will provide disabled candidates with employment skills and training and identify those most suitable for Marks & Start Logistics’ four week training and work placement programme at the distribution centre. At the end of their placement, candidates will either be offered permanent employment or, if necessary, further training.
Beth Carruthers, director of employment services at Remploy, said: "I applaud Marks & Spencer for its commitment to providing jobs for disabled people. We know that employment rates for disabled people are still too low. But 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.”
Adrian, who travels to and from work by bus, added: “I’m tired when I get home in the evening – but it’s fantastic to have a job again, working for such a great company in a wonderful new building. Sometimes I have to pinch myself to make sure I’m not dreaming.”