A drive by Marks & Spencer to recruit more than 1,000 workers is targeting disabled people.  The retailer is looking to staff its new distribution centre at Castle Donington in Leicestershire.  The company said it was working with Remploy, which gets disabled people into work, to make sure this group are represented in the process.

Remploy said the centre, which will open in early 2013, would provide important opportunities.

A Marks & Spencer spokesman said Remploy would conduct initial training before applicants came to the site.

‘Quite special’

“Participants will then complete a two-week work placement where they will be working in a team, in a live environment.

“At the end of their placement the team leader and participant will review whether the participant is ready for employment at M&S Castle Donington or whether further training and support is required,” the spokesman said.

Beth Carruthers, director of employment services at Remploy, said: “Less than 50% of disabled people are in employment and they have the lowest employment rates in the UK.

“So this programme is quite special, in that M&S are making a massive investment but also they are ring-fencing jobs for disabled people and that give those people a start and a step up, which is fantastic.”

Marks & Spencer said the facility was set to be the UK’s largest dedicated e-commerce warehouse, distributing two million items a week to homes and stores across the country.

The retailer is looking to recruit warehouse operatives, engineers, mechanics administrative staff, transport controllers and managers.

The building covers an area the equivalent of 11 Wembley size football pitches, and is over 25 metres high.