Marks & Spencer is recruiting 1,000 staff for its 900,000 sq ft distribution centre at Castle Donington which due to open early next year.
The dedicated e-commerce warehouse will distribute two million clothing and home products a week direct to customer homes and M&S stores across the country.
Darrell Stein, director of IT and logistics, said: “Castle Donington is a key part of M&S’ strategy for the future. This new distribution centre will help us deliver our goal of being a leading multi-channel retailer by 2015.
“It will also allow us to better serve our customers with improved product availability and extended delivery options. We’re delighted to be creating 1,000 new roles as part of this plan and we hope it will provide an economic boost for the East Midlands.”
The retailer is highlighting the opportunities for people with disabilities and health conditions at the site as part of a new Plan A employability scheme – Marks & Start Logistics.
The scheme, which will be run in partnership with Remploy, will cover a range of roles including: warehouse operatives, engineers, mechanics administrative staff, transport controllers and management.
Inspired by the successful Marks & Start scheme that operates in M&S stores and offices, Marks & Start Logistics will help recruit, train and employ people with disabilities and health conditions to work at Castle Donington. It will be run in partnership with Remploy Employment Service, which specialises in giving disabled people the support they need to overcome barriers to work.
Esther McVey, minister for the disabled, said: “Although the employment rate of disabled people has improved over the past few years, around half of all disabled people are still not in work and those that are often work far below their potential.
“That is why I’d urge other employers to follow the example of M&S and look hard at their recruitment and work practices to make sure they don’t miss out on the extensive talents of disabled people.”
And Beth Carruthers, director of employment services at Remploy, said: “I applaud M&S for this commitment – this wonderful new distribution centre will provide jobs for a large number of disabled people in the East Midlands, allowing them to maximise their talent.”
The 900,000 sq ft Castle Donington site is fully mechanised with automated storage and retrieval systems and sophisticated warehouse management systems.
M&S reckons it has Europe’s largest solar wall – a sun-facing wall that absorbs solar energy and releases it to help power light and heating. It is carbon neutral and has been part built using concrete from a former power station. None of the waste from the site has gone to landfill.