Entries are now open for the RIDI Awards 2018 and we’re sharing stories about some of our previous awards winners to inspire others to enter. We caught up with Manpower’s Gary Dunford to ask him about what’s happened since Manpower won the RIDI Individual Choice Award 2016.
Manpower won the RIDI Individual Choice Award 2016 after being nominated by Darren Paddick for the exemplary service you provided him with. How have things worked out since for Darren – has he found a job?
I’m really pleased to report that Darren is doing well. He has taken up a permanent role helping people who have recently become visually impaired overcome the new challenges they face.
We remain in regular contact and last May we welcomed Darren to a cricket match between Manpower and our clients against the UK Women’s Blind Cricket team. He’s been named to the England VI Cricket Academy and stands a good chance of representing England next year in India.
Manpower continues to learn a lot from Darren, who recently showed us around the RNIB resource centre so we could understand more about the tools and technology that benefit visually impaired people in everyday life.
What has changed at Manpower over the last twelve months in terms of growing disability confidence and getting more job opportunities for disabled people?
Manpower represents the recruitment industry as part of the Disability Confident Business Leaders Forum. We meet with government each quarter to help drive the Disability Confident scheme, while helping recruiters grow their confidence in engaging with disabled people.
Internally, we continue to drive disability awareness, and particularly encourage colleagues to focus on a person’s ability, not their disability. This year we created a working group encompassing functions from HR, Sales, Operations and Marketing looking at how we practically support our colleagues and clients to bring more opportunities to disabled people.
This was also promoted through our second Manpower Blind Cricket match against the UK Womens Visually Impaired team last May. We had representatives from Microsoft, Barclaycard, First State Investments and the England & Wales Cricket Board; again the emphasis was on how much talent disabled people offer. The feedback was really positive and attendees spoke about how much their eyes had been opened to what is possible with the right mindset.
Have you helped more disabled people to get job interviews? Have they been successful?
We have been able to place more disabled people at some of our clients. However, I will leave some of those stories for the RIDI Awards in 2018! We have been developing partnerships with several organisations and look forward to strengthening these during 2018.
What have been the benefits of winning the award for Manpower?
The main benefit in winning the award was awareness. It was a fantastic opportunity for us to engage with colleagues and clients about recruiting disabled people, bringing the matter into focus with a compelling case study.
Is Manpower entering RIDI Awards 2018?
Yes, we will definitely be entering the 2018 RIDI Awards. We’re exceptionally proud of what we have achieved over the past year, though we recognise there is much more still to do in this area.
What advice would you give to others thinking about entering the RIDI Awards 2018?
My advice is to just go for it. You will get lots of support from RIDI. We all need to promote and further this important agenda. It’s not just the right thing to do, but as skills shortages grow, we need to help clients grow their talent pools in new ways. There are 1.2 million disabled people who want to work, but are unable to secure meaningful employment – that’s a wealth of knowledge, skills and experience that is too valuable to disregard.
Feeling inspired? To find out how you can enter the RIDI Awards 2018 visit the awards page on the RIDI website now.