BT wants more disabled applicants
BT is to write to all its recruitment suppliers insisting that they send it more disabled job candidates, it has emerged.
The communications giant has been a leading champion in the development of the Disability Clearkit, an online service created by employers to share best practice and guidance on the employment of disabled people. Speaking at the launch of the tool yesterday, BT’s director of people and policy Caroline Waters said that making its requirements clear to recruitment consultants was a key element in becoming a true “meritocracy” for people of all abilities.
Caroline Waters said: “BT is going to introduce Clearkit through the business and throughout our regional centres of expertise. But we don’t just recruit directly, which is why we will write to all our suppliers laying out what we will require of them. They will come on board – if they want to continue to work with us.”
She added that adequate consideration and representation of disabled candidates would be written into supplier contracts in order to spread best practice.
Over 200 employers have been involved for the last two years in creating the Disability Clearkit, led by a central steering group of organisations including E.On, South Eastern, the UK Border Agency and HMRC as well as BT. The programme was initiated by the Department for Work and Pensions under the previous government, and developed with commercial partner The Clear Company.
Speaking at the launch Adam Sharples, director-general (employment) at DWP, said that the beauty of the online resource was that rather than being dictated by Whitehall it had been put together by employers themselves.
“From the start this was going to be employers, employees and disabled people working together to share best practice and help each other,” said Sharples. “Arguably this is an example of the Big Society at work – the government not trying to do things for people but creating the conditions where they can do things for themselves.”
Kate Headley, director at The Clear Company, added: “During recent years there have been many initiatives to improve the job prospects for disabled people but the percentage of working-age disabled people in employment has remained stubbornly static at around 47 per cent, compared to an overall rate of around 78 per cent. This is clearly an issue that needs addressing, given the huge pool of disabled talent, which is too often overlooked, and the fact that one in five people in the UK available for work has a disability.
“The Disability Clearkit has been developed by employers for employers, which makes perfect sense as it is the employers who hold the key to enabling more disabled people to get into work.”
After using the online resource employers and recruitment providers will be invited to become ‘Clear Assured’ to demonstrate that they meet the required standards. For more details see www.clearkit.co.uk.
Source: PM Online