Grundfos opened a sheltered workshop in May 1968, making them the first private company to do so in Denmark. Today, these types of supportive working environments are still going strong and have been adopted in many other Grundfos subsidiaries all around the world. Today they continue to offer the opportunity for people, with varying levels of disability, to work, contribute to society and earn an income.
For example, in the UK we created a strategic partnership with Remploy, who support disabled people in the manufacturing and services industries. This was initially at a Remploy site, but later a new agreement saw Remploy operate from an independent, self-contained production unit from within Grundfos’ Leighton Buzzard premises, from where they produced specialist pump systems. This then expanded to see us connect with HMP Bedford to create 12-month work experience rehabilitation contracts, that were also successful.
Such a deeply embedded tradition still offers support today to a range of people in the workplace as well as now providing an individual approach. This means, for example, that employees with long-term health issues are given the opportunity to work part-time or flexitime, when they can, or to change their role to suit their circumstances.
This ethos started with the understanding that everyone has skills that can benefit society, which is something that is as relevant today as it was half a century ago. None of us know when or if we may need to seek assistance to keep us in our workplace in the future, but if you work for Grundfos this is one element less to be concerned about.