For CCE staff based at Sidcup, Diversity and Inclusion is a top priority. They were the very first site at CCE to pilot and be assessed for the “CCE Diversity in Action Program” in 2012 in the 7 different diversity & inclusion dimensions. Since then they have set up an action group on site that meets quarterly with members from different teams to discuss diversity and inclusion issues.
Amongst other initiatives undertaken in 2014, CCE worked with Deaf Umbrella, supporting the long term deaf unemployed, and young people who are deaf; to build the confidence needed to step into the job market. Deaf Umbrella advisee and supported CCE to ensure a smooth and enjoyable experience for CCE employees, as well as providing, where necessary, sign language support. Moreover, Deaf Umbrella helped CCE to raise awareness about the challenges related to those who are hearing impaired. Through their partnership with Deaf Umbrella CCE were able, on two occasions, to employ four people in Distribution on a work experience programme. One of these people, Amanda Pooke is now a member of our Distribution Admin team, employed via the CCE agency.
Amanda commented that: “I Joined CCE at Sidcup in June 2014 for my one week Work Experience. While employed with CCE I was given the chance to go back to work and also help the CCE staff understand issues around Deaf impairment.
During my week, I enjoyed learning the basics of the office work, such as processing data, filling and photocopying. I have now been given a chance to become a full time member of Coca-Cola team. Since Joining CCE in December 2014, I no longer see my deafness as a weakness in the workplace. I have found that there are many other methods that can be used to communicate with people and for me to fulfil my work”. Here at Sidcup, CCE are all very proud to have taken this initiative and are particularly thankful to Jas Shergill and his team in the Distribution Centre who made this happen. We hope this successful experience inspires other teams across CCE. We are grateful to Deaf Umbrella for their support and assistance with this programme. For the future, CCE plans to partner with another local organisation and give people with Down’s Syndrome the chance to work in their Distribution Centre on a 15 hours a week structured programme.
Let us all hope that this new initiative has an equally successful outcome and that, for the future, other organisations follow CCE’s shining example in working with minority groups who may need that little extra help into the employment market.
Sidcup puts Diversity and Inclusion in the spotlight with an initiative to help young deaf people enter the job market.