The British Furniture Manufacturers (BFM) has helped an international project build a 300-strong database intended to support European SMEs in the employment of less-abled employees.
The third transnational meeting for SupportAbility, held in Turkey and attended by BFM MD Jackie Bazeley, primarily focused on the completion of database resources which can be used by companies across the furniture sector to access information about working with the less-abled.
Says Jackie: "The idea of the project is to create a central bank of useful information and references to help support SMEs within the furniture industry who employ disabled individuals. We're delighted with the number of entries achieved so far, which will continue to evolve over the life of the project."
The aim is to create an online resource to provide new strategies and facilities to improve the integration of people living with a disability within companies. It will be accessible for junior, middle and senior managers and comprise articles, legislation, guidance and reports with information that could enable an SME to employ more people with disabilities and improve the quality of induction for the retention of these workers. It is predicted that the resource will be finished by March 2018.
In the next phase of the project, the SupportAbility consortium will look at developing a pilot course - part online and part face to face - for those working in SMEs who will be mentoring new employees with a disability. The conclusion of the phase is expected in February 2018.