Techniquest, the educational charity based in Cardiff Bay, is embarking on a new journey to become a disability confident employer.

The science discovery centre is working closely with its in-house tenant, Do-IT Solutions, to improve its confidence and awareness around disability.

Lesley Kirkpatrick and Professor Amanda Kirby

The scheme, launched by the government, aims to improve employers’ confidence in recruiting and retaining staff with disabilities. As of November 2017, a year after the initiative began, over 5,000 employers have registered with the scheme.

The organisation has already completed the first step of the programme, achieving Disability Committed status. This means that Techniquest has committed itself to employ, retain and develop those with disabilities, and will reflect that in all areas of the business. Once able to demonstrate these changes, it will move on to the next stage.

Do-IT Solutions is a specialist company aiming to help individuals to overcome hidden barriers, such as living and learning, resulting in unemployment.

Techniquest began its relationship with Do-IT Solutions last year, when it welcomed the organisation to its building as its first tenant, in a deal which the full use of Techniquest’s offices and facilities, including meeting and conference spaces. It also includes the opportunity to use the centre and its audience for essential research.

Lesley Kirkpatrick, CEO at Techniquest, said: “Being Disability Confident is a positive and essential step forward for our organisation as we continue to embrace a diverse workforce, especially as we continue our mission to create a sustainable future for the organisation and look ahead at recruitment.

“We’re thrilled to be working with Professor Kirby at Do-IT Solutions on our journey to become Disability Confident, and her expertise and guidance has been invaluable to us.

“We have a strong and skilled team of people, but being Disability Confident means attracting and recruiting new talent which may have not otherwise been possible. We’re looking forward to recognising the skills and talents of those with disabilities while ensuring that Techniquest is an exciting, innovative and accepting place to work.”