Hiring Specially-abled People in Retail Makes Biz Sense: Report - The New Indian Express

Hiring Specially-abled People in Retail Makes Biz Sense: Report

Published: 17th January 2014 10:19 AM

Last Updated: 17th January 2014 10:24 AM

To urge more retailers to extend employment opportunities to people with disabilities (PwD), Accenture along with Pankh, an NGO, launched a white paper titled ‘Breaking New Ground- Empowering Persons with Disabilities to Succeed in Retail Sector’.

Nagesh B S, founder of the Trust for Retail and Retail Associates of India (TRRAIN) said the report is aimed at sensitising retail organisations and government to the benefits of employing specially-abled people.

“Training disabled people and placing them in jobs is helpful to them and also makes business sense. Retail is the best industry to bring persons with disability on to mainstream jobs. Through their job, they will get to meet people and interact with them, which will build their confidence,” he said at the launch held here on Thursday.

As many as 47 human resource representatives across 15 retail organisations were interviewed in the survey that revealed business benefits of recruiting people with disabilities. “PwD have a lower monthly attrition rate of 3.3 per cent compared to the industry figure of 6.8 per cent,” it said.

The report also said that 60 per cent of respondents felt that disabled persons were more productive than employees without any disability. “The average productivity of PwD is 7 per cent higher than other employees. One third of respondents believed that inclusion of these people led to better employee engagement,” the survey stated.

Meera Shenoy, advisor to the Prime Minister on Skilling, told Express: “Disabled people need to be brought under a wider ecosphere and given a chance to work. The government also needs to introduce more disabled-friendly policies and government officials have to be sensitised.”

The report also suggests mapping disabled people with roles relevant to their limitations.

For example, hearing impaired people can be assigned the role of crew members and brew masters in quick service restaurants, as cashiers and for inventory management in hypermarkets or other large format stores. “The orthpaedically impaired can work as data operators and as customer services associates. Visually impaired people can give massage therapy at spas,” said the report.

Government’s Role

Since both the retail and social sectors find it hard to get access to people with disabilities, the government can help by creating State-wise databases of these people so that they can be easily accessed, suggested the research panel.

Bhoomadevi Rajan, rehabilitation officer at the Vocational Rehabilitation Centre for Handicapped under the Ministry of Labour and Employment, said people can also be trained at these centres and then employed at a variety of places.

“Many sectors of industry need to open up to disabled people. Disabled people in rural areas have a very difficult time getting trained or finding jobs because most activities are only in cities. The profile of a candidate in Bangalore Rural is very different from a candidate in a city so the disabled people in rural areas also have to be taken on board,” she said.

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