Thales has once again partnered with the European Disability Employment Week, by mobilising its sites and by engaging again with the public authorities and associations, to make sure that an inclusive society does indeed become reality. Fighting against discrimination is a pillar of our ethical code, and we ensure that our engagements are put into action in our everyday way of working. Through putting inclusion and equality in opportunities at the heart of our Human Resources policies, we have been leading for over 20 years a proactive policy aiming to promote people, including training, recruitment campaigns and professional development measures.
Throughout the last European Disability Employment Week, a series of events and meetings dedicated to this subject took place on 42 Thales sites, involving Thales employees as well as key stakeholders of regional ecosystems such as public authorities and SMEs. This week was also an opportunity to present tangible results of partnerships and conventions which Thales has signed with the academic world, as well as innovative programmes that are being implemented to stimulate the employability of people with disabilities. One example is “Eye School”, a technology that allows visually impaired young people to follow lessons on a white board in an ordinary class. Thales has also recently committed to ensure its sites comply with the French Afnor recommendations which help to improve access to the professional environment by disabled people. We target full compliance of all Thales sites by 2017.
All of these efforts are generating concrete results and Thales is today becoming well-known for the quality of its disability policies. In France, the company employs around 1 900 disabled people, and every year, it welcomes about one hundred interns with disabilities. Thales is also contributing to help other companies improve in this area. One example is our active involvement into the “Handi-SME” programme in France in which large companies help SMEs to put in place pragmatic measures to fight discrimination and promote inclusiveness for disability.