Shaw Trust targets trade media after Burnell hire

Disability employment charity Shaw Trust is seeking to raise its profile in the business and professional trade press in an attempt to change the attitudes of employers to disabled workers.

The move follows this month’s appointment of Learning and Skills Council national press manager Julian Burnell as head of PR.

The charity – which provides training and work opportunities for people who are disadvantaged in the labour market due to disability or ill-health – wants to position itself as an expert on disability and employment issues in the business media.

Burnell said he plans to place more emphasis on moving outside the disability press to reach out to employers and make them aware of the ‘business benefits’ of disabled staff.

‘During my time at the Learning and Skills Council, I found many employers had jobs they couldn’t fill because they couldn’t find people with the right skills. There are more than one million people on incapacity benefit who want to work and who could close that gap,’ he said.

Case studies of highly skilled workers on incapacity benefit, and research on employment disability issues, will be sold in to media.

Burnell replaces Jan Hunt, and reports to director of comms Catherine A’Bear.

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