SUSE and our members have worked with ACS Clothing Ltd throughout the last year and they have also recently joined Apt as an employer.

Michael Cusack, Head of Sustainability and Business Transformation at ACS, recently spoke at our SUSE AGM in what was an inspiring overview of how they transformed their business by recruiting disabled people. This is what Michael has to say about working with SUSE and their experiences:

“At a time when everyone is struggling to get good staff and trying to retain their staff, I don’t understand why more businesses aren’t doing what we’re doing.

There’s a lot of unrealised talent out there in society and one area is disabled people. I don’t like to differentiate that way, particularly as our experience has been so positive.

There’s lots of wonderful resources out there and we needed to better understand our workforce – we didn’t know what we didn’t know. But we are good at listening and engaging with organisations who have great capabilities.

SUSE and Apt helped to train our workforce. We built up a capability and were able to create policies and procedures that actually helped us. To get the most from an individual you don’t squeeze them into a role, you allocate tasks to suit their talent and that’s what we’ve done.

There is an unspoken myth around disability, such as absence, health and safety issues, difficult to train etc., but we need to change this viewpoint and get people to focus on what really is the reality. Our reality is, and we have documented proof, that our disabled employees are as productive as non-disabled employees. We have a loyal and hardworking workforce that are a pleasure to work with. Our organizational culture has changed, it’s more inclusive and a better, friendlier place to work. It’s a pleasure coming in in the morning! The reality as we see it should be out there because not all employers are fully aware of the positives.

A lot of the work Apt is doing right now is highly useful and I wish I could have worked on it sooner. The Disability Awareness training helped us a lot, along with other good specialist training for key staff.

We are very proud to now be a Disability Confident Leader.

We’ve found creative ways to recruit and retain staff and it is fuelling our growth. It will be easy for us to expand into other markets by using the model developed in Lanarkshire and this is all through collaboration.”

To find out more about how SUSE can support your business please click here. To find our about the services and training courses provided through Apt please click here.