Solihull Council’s success in support for businesses championing workplace inclusion


With Learning Disability Week (19 – 25 June 2023) just around the corner, the Council is hoping to inspire businesses to support residents with further needs into work.  

The theme this year is myth busting and a common myth is that people with learning disabilities cannot get a job. Arden Hotel and Leisure Club is just one of many local businesses proving this wrong, thanks to support from the Council’s Employment and Skills Team*.

The Hotel Manager of Arden Hotel and Leisure Club, Roy Nash, shared his thoughts on recruiting inclusively, “The beauty of the hospitality industry is that you don’t need a qualification to succeed. You only need to be passionate for your work and a good team player. It has been amazing for us as a business to literally change someone’s life simply by inviting them to join our team.

“One of our employees recruited with the Council’s support has a learning disability that he cannot read or write. He is very hard working and passionate for work. He is thriving in his role, and he has become a vital part of the team. He always comes to work with a big smile on his face and tells us how happy he is working with us. The only adjustment we have made was replacing the face-to-face interview with a 2-hour work trial. It is great to support local people with further needs to flourish and contribute their skills.”

Roy reflected on the support from the Council’s Employment and Skills Team, “I have got not only access to a diverse workforce, but also opportunities to network with other businesses in the borough. Joining the Disability Confident event in March has enriched my network. It has also inspired us to join the scheme and be part of the force in driving workplace inclusion. My advice to other businesses is to try and move away from the robotic recruitment process and tailor it to the individuals. You will start to benefit from having a diverse and inclusive team!”

Cllr Karen Grinsell, Deputy Leader of Solihull Council, said:

“We are always working to support our most vulnerable residents to overcome barriers for work so that everyone can have an equal chance for employment. We also support businesses to drive inclusive growth in the borough.

It is great to see employers like Arden Hotel and Leisure Club taking advantage of the support on offer and providing life-changing opportunities to people. Businesses can also unlock new possibilities and strengthen their ties with the community. I would encourage all businesses in the borough to chat with our Employment and Skills Team to learn about the support they can provide for your recruitment needs.”

To learn about the support available, please get in touch with the team by emailing


*The Employment and Skills Team is part-funded by the European Social Fund.