Leonardo is one of more than 2,000 employers that has sought the expertise of ENABLE Works, which supports employers through specialist training and support to strengthen diversity and inclusion in the workplace.
ENABLE Works is the largest specialist provider of skills and employability services in Scotland and delivers support to 4,500 people each year across 28 local authority areas.
The partnership with ENABLE Works is providing training to up to 200 of Leonardo’s people across the UK, including its site based at Crewe Toll in Edinburgh. Employees are trained in a range of areas including understanding autism, creating a mentally healthy workplace, and learning disability awareness.
Across its UK branches, Leonardo employs a range of experts from engineers to cyber security experts, project managers to business analysts, employing entry level graduates and apprentices through to highly-experienced professionals. Its commitment to growing its diversity and strengthening existing inclusive working practices are championed by staff throughout the organisation.
Clive Higgins, director of government affairs and chair of the Pople and Inclusion Committee at Leonardo UK, said: “I am delighted we are forming this partnership to accelerate our efforts to support the people who work here today and those who will join us in the future, to ensure they have everything they need to succeed.”
Mark Hartree, 55, is customer support services programme manager at Leonardo’s site at Crewe Toll in Edinburgh. A passionate advocate for inclusivity, Mark says his awareness was awakened back in 1989 when at 23, he accompanied a group of blind mountaineers on an expedition up Ben Nevis.
He said: “The person who stays in my memory the most is a 76-year-old former bomb disposal expert from World War 2 called Ken Levis, who lost his eyesight in an accident. He held on to my arm for 13 hours up and down the mountain. He was an extraordinary person and it made me realise what I take for granted. To this day, I will remember this and I want to support everyone and work in an inclusive environment that allows people to thrive, whatever their circumstances.”
This experience, together with other life experiences, helps Mark to lead Leonardo’s participation in the UK’s Disability Confident Scheme; a movement of change which encourages employers to think differently about disability and to take action to improve how they recruit, retain and develop people. Already Leonardo has attained Level 2 accreditation and is now working its way towards level 3.
Leonardo is one of 27 companies to partner with ENABLE Works to reignite their commitment to give more opportunities for disabled people in the workplace.
Director of ENABLE Works, Ashley Ryan, said: “Leonardo’s commitment to putting diversity and inclusion front and centre of its practices is not only better for society but is good for its people and its business.
“Work plays a massive part of our everyday lives and it is crucial that companies reflect our society, our experiences and our diversity. Partnering with like-minded organisations such as Leonardo allows each one of us to make a greater impact on the lives of those around us and to train staff in understanding and adopting real change in practice.
“Cultural changes go beyond company policies as practical solutions can tap into a diverse pool of talent, support current employees, and get more disabled people into meaningful employment. That is why we are here and that is what we can help with.”
For more information about diversity in the workplace or to find out how your organisation can become more inclusive, contact ENABLE Works.