This Tuesday, 7 December, Jerónimo Martins Group will inaugurate its Incluir Centre. Located in Telheiras, Lisbon, the Centre has been designed to train people with disabilities and/or incapacitated persons and, thus, increase their employability. Applications can be submitted via the Group’s Candidaturas Programa Incluir (Include Programme Applications) platform and the first groups will begin training in January.
This new centre will follow an innovative training and development methodology, tailored to each trainee and adapted to the functions available within each of the Group’s business areas. The method was developed internally by the technical team dedicated to inclusion. The first phase of training will last two weeks and take place in the classroom, focusing on behaviour and relationship skills and practical training in the centre’s simulation store. This is followed by the second phase, where trainees will get on-the-job training over the course of ten weeks.
They will be monitored by tutors – employees charged with monitoring and training each trainee in the workplace – and the Inclusion team. After completing these two phases, trainees will be ready to be employed by the Group companies.
According to Marta Maia, Chief People Officer at the Jerónimo Martins Group, “we’ve created this centre as an opportunity for training and, subsequently, employment for a sector of society that faces major barriers in the job market. The Jerónimo Martins Group has already created job opportunities for over 550 people with disabilities since 2015 through its Include Programme, and our goal is for this centre to boost our capacity for training and onboarding. It is also our hope that, through the work done and by setting an example, the centre will help encourage greater inclusion in society. To this end, the centre will be open to the entire community and people are welcome to visit. Conferences and debates will also be held at the centre to help raise awareness of the urgent need to be more inclusive”.
An inclusive centre open to the community
The Incluir Centre is housed in a newly constructed building designed taking different disabilities into account: signage and fonts that make it easier for people with visual impairment to read them, tactile building plan for the blind, Portuguese texts translated into Braille, colour code for people who are colour-blind, and noise cancelling headphones for Autistic people, for example.
The centre will be open to visitors through advance booking, requested by sending an e-mail to email@example.com, will host various conferences and debates, and will have alternating exhibitions of art created by people with disabilities. At present, the centre has an exhibition of paintings by CERCICA (Cooperative for the Education and Rehabilitation of People with Disabilities of Cascais) and Fundação Liga (foundation for people with impaired motor function).
Other initiatives by the Jerónimo Martins Group to promote the employability of people with disabilities
Part of the Include Programme, Project Search was launched in 2017, in partnership with non-profit organisation Cooperativa Focus, to help young adults with special needs transition to a working life. The fourth edition ended in November and saw 10 trainees welcomed by Pingo Doce and Recheio for on-the-job training over the course of ten months for future employment.
Individual Multidisciplinary Studies Programme
In June, the Group and the University of Aveiro signed an agreement to launch the “Individual Multidisciplinary Studies Programme” degree course, an innovative project focused on full inclusion of people with intellectual and developmental disabilities (IDDs) in academia and the job market. The programme opened in October and includes both an educational and professional component, with on-the-job training. The two-year course includes two internships at Group Companies: one following the first academic year and another after completing the programme, at the end of the second academic year.
The Jerónimo Martins Group’s inclusion policies were recognised by the Institute of Employment and Vocational Training (IEFP), which awarded the Group’s holding and Recheio Cash & Carry the distinction of 2021 Inclusive Employer Brand.