A Leicester man who experienced the frustration of five years' unemployment is back in work thanks to an innovative partnership between Remploy and Marks & Spencer.
Jaykishan Dave, 46, from Belgrave, is working as a warehouse operative at M&S’s new 900,000 sq ft distribution centre in Castle Donington, Leicestershire which opened earlier this year.
He was made redundant from his last permanent job in 2008, shortly after being diagnosed with a genetic eye condition that left him with impaired vision.
“The two things left me very depressed,” admitted Jaykishan, whose life changed when he was referred to Remploy’s Employment Services branch in Leicester for specialist support.
“Although I desperately wanted to get back in to employment, I was initially unsure about taking this job because I didn’t have my own car and the journey by bus was about two hours in each direction,” he added. “But when I was taken on a tour of the distribution centre I knew more than anything this was the place I wanted to work.”
A car sharing scheme has halved his journey time to and from work, leaving Jaykishan feeling more confident about the future than at any time in the past five years.
His confidence received a further significant boost when he was recently nominated for an M&S award that recognises potential and success in overcoming personal barriers to work.
“This is a good place to work, with great opportunities,” he said. “I’m grateful to Remploy and to M&S who saw beyond my disability. Life is worth living again and I feel that I’m achieving something by being here."
More than 100 Remploy candidates with a range of disabilities and health conditions are expected to be employed at M&S’s Castle Donington distribution centre by the end of this year, evidence of the success of the partnership between the two organisations.
“It’s wonderful to see how candidates grow in confidence and develop as people, once they come to work here, said Grant Allen, a Remploy Employment Advisor based at the site. “It’s what makes my job so rewarding.”
Anita Thomas, M&S’s Employability Manager at Castle Donington added: “Our partnership with Remploy is proving very successful in ensuring that we can recruit people for their talents and abilities, focusing on what can be done.
“Our commitment to disabled colleagues extends beyond recruitment. It is equally important to minimise barriers for disabled people once they are working for us. We are committed to providing an inclusive and accessible workplace for all our colleagues.”
Picture caption: Jaykishan Dave
Notes to Editors:
- In the last four years Remploy Employment Services has found more than 50,000 jobs in mainstream employment for people with a range of physical, sensory and mental disabilities and other disadvantages.
- Remploy is driven by the fundamental belief that every disabled person can, with appropriate support and specialist advice, secure sustainable employment
- Employment Services has an increasing focus on providing specialist disability employment services to people with mental health conditions or learning disabilities
- It continues to invest in developing innovative approaches and services for employers which are cost effective and business efficient including consultancy and vocational rehabilitation services
- Remploy ES partners with more than 2,500 of the country’s biggest employers including BT, ASDA, Royal Mail, Sainsbury’s, the NHS and Marks & Spencer
- It operates a national network of more than 60 town and city centre recruitment branches and offices providing specialist recruitment and development services to job seekers