British Furniture Manufacturers (BFM) is a trade association, employers’ organisation and member of the European Furniture Manufacturers’ Association.
Working Tri21 is a project which aims to enhance the social inclusion of people suffering from disabilities by integrating them into job market. Social inclusion, through job inclusion.
There is a long history of those with disabilities finding it difficult to secure employment. This is due to a lack of knowledge, procedure, training and the appropriate adjustments being made. Disabled people offer a wide range of potential skills, by identifying and correcting the current issues, businesses and employers can offer job opportunities to those with disabilities. Also, providing employment to the individuals will help them integrate into society and help to eliminate some barriers that may currently be perceived by society. There are more than 50 million people with some form of disability in Europe alone. This means businesses are losing significant numbers of potential recruits that possess many possibilities.
The project aims to research and develop support for those with disabilities, with a primary focus on those with Down Syndrome (Trisomy 21), with the long term goal being to help enable their employment. The research part of the project included; identifying the skills, abilities and knowledge regarding prospective job roles. After identifying these areas the developmental support focussed on tailoring a training package(s) for individuals with special needs. Trial tests will then be carried out in Spain, with the finished product being designed for use in all (or most) EU countries.
The research that has been carried out is split into three Outputs. The first piece of research, Output 1, discovered that those with Down Syndrome/Tri21 have disabilities and learning difficulties which may affect their capacity to complete certain tasks. It is likely that roles such as warehousing, packing, elementary quality control, basic upholstery (such as filling cushions) and simple assembly operation would best suit those who suffer with Down Syndrome/Tri21. However it is important for individuals with Down Syndrome/Tri21 to have individual assessments, as the difficulties individuals may experience can differ considerably.
Output 2 researched how people with certain other disabilities would cope in specific job roles. The research was based around those who were deaf, blind or visually impaired, required dialysis, Down Syndrome, intellectual difficulties, muscular dystrophy, multiple sclerosis, Asperger syndrome and arthritis. There were many job profiles researched. These included: upholstery, frame assembly, furniture assembler, quality technician, carver, band saw operator, packer, administrator and several others. The research concluded that while some of the jobs were not a good fit for some disabilities, there was a potential job role for anyone with any of the disabilities.
Finally, Output 3 went into further detail creating a summary of those jobs that people who are identified as disabled could do, could not do and jobs which they may be able to perform with some potential difficulties. In the list of jobs that those with a disability could carry out there are fifteen potential jobs. Although, it should be noted that out of those fifteen jobs not all of the jobs could be performed by some. Nevertheless there are still a number of job roles individuals could fulfill. The full reports on each Output can be found on the Working Tri21 website.
The Working Tri21 project is a consortium consisitng of BFM LTD (UK), Asociacion Empresarial De Investigacion Centro Tecnologico Del Muebley La Madera De La Region De Murcia (Spain), Associazione Centro Studi Città di Foligno (Italy) and the Associazione Italiana Persone Down Onlus –AIPD – (Italy) and funded by Erasmus+.