A WORCESTER supermarket backed an international campaign to increase the employment rates of disabled people by offering on-the-job experience.

Asda, in Lowesmoor, teamed up with Remploy to welcome Keith Goodman and Hayden Langfield to their team to carry out bag packing as part of International Day of Disabled People’s bid to raise awareness of disability issues on Monday.

Remploy is one of the UK’s leading providers of employment services and employment to people with barriers to work and their campaign has the support of David Weir, who won four gold medals at the 2012 Paralympic Games.

Mr Goodman, who has been out of work since 2002 after suffering a heart attack, said he was grateful for the opportunity to take steps back towards employment in a relaxed environment.

“It’s giving me experience of what this kind of work is like. Hopefully this will give me the incentive to do what I want to do. It gives you a good introduction to what it is all about, especially as it’s just a short stint.”

Richard Kennea, general store manager at Asda, said the offer was made as part of the supermarket chain’s national agreement with Remploy.

Mr Kennea said: “We work on helping to provide employment for everybody in the local community. We try to be as inclusive as we can.

“We have a very good working relationship with the local branch of Remploy and we do employ people via them. We find these colleagues are as capable and do as good a job for us as any other of our colleagues.”

Teresa Adams, account manager for Remploy in Worcester, said it has found work in the city for 188 people and the branch’s staff are passionate about their efforts to help others.

Of the link-up with Asda, she said: “I think this is fantastic, we have a fantastic relationship with local employers. We give people who need that bit of assistance to get back into work the support they need to achieve it.”

Remploy aims to transform the lives of disabled people and those experiencing complex barriers to work by providing sustainable employment opportunities.