Birmingham company is pursuing equal opportunities for disabled people

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A company that makes and fits windows and doors in Erdington is actively employing and training people with disabilities.

Three quarters of Shelforce’s employees have disabilities such as deafness, autism or learning disabilities and managers believe their workforce have helped drive their success and company ethos.

Shelforce employees. (Credit: Howard Trotter)

Around 14 million people in the UK have disabilities and according to the NHS, 23,800 people Birmingham have a learning disability.

Safdar Thakur, is a production operative at Shelforce and is also deaf. He has worked 11 years for the company.

He said: “Shelforce is a way of life for me now.

“Without it I would be depressed and financially unstable.

“Shelforce employed me when no one else would.”

Shelforce business manager, Howard Trotter, said: “The fact that we have people with disabilities is a great business asset that most people don’t see.”

The difference between the number of people working in the UK with disabilities and the number of non-disabled people working is 30%, revealed in research published by the Office For National Statistics.

Shelforce, ‘established in 1839’, is focused on showing ‘innovation through diversity’ by tackling the employment divide.

Shelforce employees. (Credit: Howard Trotter)

“The manufacturing problem is insignificant in comparison to what a person born with a disability would learn to live with,” said Trotter.

“They are all assets to the business and have helped drive Shelforce forward.”

The manufacturing company has received many awards for its success such as Birmingham Chamber of Commerce ‘Business of the Year 2021’ and also ABCC outstanding contribution to diversity.

Birmingham based charity, BID services, are also actively tackling the employment divide through their employment service which helps people who are deaf or hard of hearing.

The employment support can involve job searching, advice and guidance, completing a CV or apllication, improving skills in IT, Maths or English and increasing confidence.

The Disability Resource Centre provides free employment and training services for people in the West Midlands region who have disabilities and long-term health conditions.

You can find out more about the services provided by the Disability Resource Centre here, or call 03030 402040, or email drc@disability.co.uk.

To seek the BID’s employment support, call 07702 532824 or email employment@bid.org.uk

To find out more about Shelforce and their employment opportunities visit: https://www.shelforce.com/, or call 0121 603 5262 or email Shelforce@birmingham.gov.uk

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