What was the origin of your interest in recruiting people with disabilities?

Matt Perren, Project Manager at GLL, which runs all leisure centres across the borough, tells us: ‘from the outset, we have had a target of 60% of our roles going to Islington residents, which is a key KPI for our organisation’. This challenging goal has made GLL think carefully about the structure of their roles and engage creatively with making sure they have jobs that are accessible to people with disabilities.

What has your experience of recruiting people with disabilities taught you?

GLL has found that frontline roles are best suited to carving for people with disabilities and has had particular success with cleaning roles and with fitness instruction. Cleaning especially is often a challenging role to recruit to for the company, and one of the key business benefits of job carving has been discovering and harnessing the commitment and dedication of people with disabilities to those very jobs it is normally so hard to find someone to take on and care about.

Given those major benefits, the straightforward adjustments, like a shorter working day or a slightly longer and more ‘hands-on’ induction process for new starters, are certainly worthwhile for Matt and the GLL team. They have recruited between 15 and 20 people since launching their partnership with Islington in April 2014, and among those staff are some who have since gone on to gain the professional qualifications vital to so many roles in the leisure industry.

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“We’ve sometimes struggled to recruit people who really care about cleaning roles, but job carving has helped us build a workforce that really cares”

Matt Perren, GLL