Remploy campaign puts 13,000 into work

More than 350 organisations have signed up to a campaign by Remploy to boost job opportunities for disabled people in the UK.

The charity, the UK's largest employer of disabled people, launched the 'Double the Opportunities' campaign this time last year, exhorting employers to double the number of disabled staff.

The campaign was launched to coincide with the European Year of Disabled People, but has been so successful that Remploy has said it will continue indefinitely.

Signatories include major employers such as HBOS Bank, Asda and Safeway, local authorities, police forces and several NHS Trusts.

"We are delighted with the response and we challenge employers to keep the momentum going throughout 2004," said Bob Warner, chief executive of Remploy. "This will be an important year for the employment of disabled people as the Disability Discrimination Act is being extended to businesses with fewer than 15 staff."

In the year to March 2003, Remploy assisted more than 13,000 disabled people into work, either at its own factories, or by providing extra training and support for those who worked in external industries. This compared with just over 10,000 three years ago.

Warner added: "Most firms already take their corporate social responsibilities seriously regarding race and gender, but they fall short when it comes to disabled people. There are hundreds of thousands of people with myriad skills who want to work, and studies show their commitment and ability is prized by employers."

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