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Andy Zneimer explains the motivation behind BECO.’s #StealOurStaff campaign, and why the firm can’t solve the disability unemployment gap alone.

Fighting discrimination is never an easy task. For so many people in the UK, having a disability means life can throw up challenges that many without disabilities simply don’t encounter.

If only people understood just how capable – often exceptional and talented – people with a wide range of disabilities really are. After all, there’s a huge talent pool out there of at least 1.1million people.

Currently in the UK, 51.7% of people with disabilities are in employment, whereas the employment rate for people without disabilities is 81.7%. (Commons Briefing papers CBP-7540).

And that’s precisely why we at BECO. – one of the leading eco-ethical soap brands – have launched our #StealOurStaff campaign. Yes, you read that correctly.

Employing over 100 staff with visual impairments or long-term health conditions, BECO. can’t close the disability unemployment gap on its own.

This wide-ranging national disability campaign is a call-to-arms, a call for employers across all industry sectors to think again about how they perceive disability.

A call for them to consider employing people who they ordinarily would pass by for dubious reasons ranging from anticipated health and safety issues through to plain prejudice.

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A CV on the box – very smart and effective marketing right there

We also want our amazing staff to be able to further their careers and to have the opportunity to move on. To this end, we are actively match-making our staff to job opportunities created through this campaign by giving employers reasons to reconsider disabled people’s true potential in the workplace.

After all, 80% of our colleagues that make our BECO. products are visually impaired or have other long-term health issues.

And BECO. is doing brilliantly – it is currently to be found on the shelves of some of the UK’s best-loved retailers; Waitrose, Boots, Sainsbury’s, the Co-op, and Ethical Superstore.

#StealOurStaff is a real hard-hitting campaign, masterminded by the brilliance of international creative agency TBWA/London, that is giving its people, time and resources for free because like us, it sees workability and not disability, and recognises the vast potential in every one of us.

“I wish other organisations would give people like us a chance,” explains Michael, one of our excellent team leaders working on our factory floor making BECO. products. “There are so many disabled people unemployed and I’m sure there are plenty of big companies that can do more to help,”

Imagine the frustration for people living in the UK that are disabled and who can’t find meaningful work. Imagine the effect it can have on self-esteem, on finances, on so many aspects of life that the rest of us take for granted.

Here at BECO. we are on a mission to change that. Right now, in-store BECO. packaging carries mini-CVs of our amazing staff and some attention-grabbing insights into each one’s personalities and skills. So how can you help make a difference? Well, for a start, you can keep buying – or begin buying – BECO. soap for your homes and offices.

Our products have great eco credentials. For example, every bottle of our foaming hand wash saves 88L of water compared to liquid soap.

Everyone can create real and sustainable change, just by washing their hands. Every bar of organic triple milled soap and bottle of handwash BECO. sold helps to provide real jobs for people with disabilities. Indeed, if every person in the UK switched to BECO., we could create 45,000 new jobs for people with disabilities.

Or you could make a new hire. You won’t regret it. Whoever you are looking for and whatever the skill, the BECO. team are some of the most passionate and talented staff you’ll come across, many with decades of experience. Take a look at BECO.’s employees and their CVs on beco.co.uk/stealourstaff and help #StealOurStaff

Best to leave the last word to Sareet who has been with CLARITY & Co. since 2006 and is registered blind: “I want to help employers understand that people with disabilities can work, that they want to work and that they are committed to their work.  The only thing they are asking for is for the chance to work.”

To find out more about BECO. visit beco.uk.

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