Flying the flag for diversity

Howard Trotter, business manager of Birmingham window and door manufacturer Shelforce, was among the experts invited to speak at this year’s FIT Show.

Visitors to the Insight Theatre listened to Howard speak about how the Shelforce team creates high-quality and competitive products through maximising unique and diverse talents.

Shelforce has been providing employment for disabled workers since 1839 and 75% of its workforce currently disabled.

“We’ve benefitted hugely from the in-built resilience of disabled workers,” Howard said.

“They overcome bigger obstacles every day than many of us will face in a year – and that means they’ve got a toughness and a determination that’ll see them through any business or production issue in the workplace.”

In the last four years, Shelforce has tripled its turnover – going from an operating loss of £1.8 million to making a profit.

“I was delighted to be able to speak at the FIT Show,” Howard said. “It was a great opportunity to talk about our vision of a fully inclusive world-class workforce and how disabled people can make exceptionally loyal, dedicated, hard-working employees in this industry.

“One of our aims is to encourage other businesses to adopt our inclusive employment approach and give it a try, and events such as the FIT Show provide the perfect platform to get that message out.”