One of the UK’s leading HR and recruitment specialists, Gi Group, is advocating the adoption of automation within the manufacturing industry to boost diversity and create new opportunities for people with disabilities.

The latest estimates from the Department for Work and Pensions’ Family Resources Survey, indicate that 16 million people in the UK have a disability but only 4.9 million have a job tailored to suit their needs, resulting in a high proportion out of work.

With 25 years’ experience within the manufacturing industry, Gi Group sees new technologies and automation as an opportunity to champion diversity and inclusion by matching the unique skills and talents of candidates with disabilities to the evolving needs of the industry.

The conversation around the impact of automation is being reflected globally, with results in Gi Group Holding’s latest manufacturing whitepaper,which included commentary from 240 industry experts from across Brazil, China, Italy, Poland, Germany, and the UK, suggesting that jobs in the manufacturing industry will become more accessible to people with disabilities or other disadvantages once automation is implemented.

Val Anderson, operations manager at Gi Group said: “By embracing the power of automation, we’re helping to open doors for candidates with disabilities to excel in manufacturing. We believe new technology can serve as a bridge, allowing candidates with disabilities to access meaningful employment opportunities in an industry undergoing transformative change.”

Gi Group invites manufacturers to explore new possibilities in their employment processes and to open up a new world of workers. Within the industry, automation carries the promise of being a positive catalyst with the potential to increase productivity, raise efficiency, and make companies more competitive all while opening the doors to new pools of talent. Gi Group, which has 26 branches across the UK and employs over 500 people, is working closely with its clients to identify opportunities for automation-driven roles that align with the capabilities and aspirations of candidates with physical disabilities.

Val added: “Transitioning to automation will have the capability to free employees from physically demanding tasks, which will instead be performed by robots under workers’ direction and control. The modern worker will instead be running sophisticated machinery and quality controlling.”

Welcoming automation will continue to remove the stigma that manufacturing roles are physically exhausting and involve long hours for workers in the industry. Instead, it will give candidates with physical disabilities the chance to enter an industry that they might not have considered able to do once before.

The manufacturing industry is currently thriving and with many perks, including competitive salaries, chance to upskill and work with new technologies, a role in manufacturing could be the perfect job for candidates with disabilities. This forward-looking strategy confronts the ongoing skills shortage in the manufacturing industry while demonstrating how technology can be used to foster diversity, inclusiveness, and equality in the workplace.

Gi Group is proud to be a disability-confident employer, which is a Government scheme designed to encourage employers to recruit and retain disabled people and those with health conditions.

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