Incluir Centre: inclusion and opportunities for all
Incluir Centre is a Jerónimo Martins Group initiative that prepares people with disabilities for the labour market. Two locations, one in Lisbon and one in Porto, recruit, train and develop candidates for the Group’s companies.
Different lives, equal opportunities
Jerónimo Martins created the Include Programme, which includes the Incluir centres, in 2015. The goal was to create job opportunities for people with a disadvantage in accessing the labour market. Specifically, Incluir is intended for those with disabilities and special needs, migrants or refugees, and people who are socially vulnerable.
The Include Programme was set up with the help of several partners, namely over 80 institutions specialized in different areas of social inclusion. There is also an internal team responsible for recruiting, training, and developing candidates’ skills, and over 700 tutors follow and support participants in their journey.
As the programme grew, however, there was a need to develop the project internally. This is how the Jerónimo Martins Group’s Incluir Centre was born. The first centre started operating in Lisbon by the end of 2021 and, a few months later, another Incluir Centre was born in Porto.
The country’s first store-school
In each of the Incluir Centres there is a “store school” – a unique and pioneering space in Portugal, which reproduces everything that exists in a Pingo Doce store. Other Jerónimo Martins Group private brands, such as Amanhecer, are also present. The goal is to simulate an actual store and have the candidates perform all the normal functions of a retail job.
In the store-school there are distinct positions such as cashier, café and pâtisserie, bakery, frozen foods, fruits and vegetables, or wine and spirits. It is through practice that students simulate a working day and develop social, behavioural, and technical skills. Each exercise is bespoke and designed considering the specific skills and abilities of a given individual.
The first phase of the training usually lasts for two weeks. First, the classroom focuses on behavioural and relational skills; then, in the store-school, candidates practise tasks they’d need in real work context. Next comes the second phase: the practical training at the workplace, where each candidate who completed the first phase is moved to a live workplace, under supervision by a tutor and the technical team for a period of ten months, until they’re hiring.
A space for everyone
In the Incluir Centre, every detail is designed thoroughly. Communications are written in braille and signage and letter fonts are chosen to facilitate reading by those with other visual impairments. There is a tactile floor plan for blind people, colour-blind friendly colouring and codes, headphones for greater comfort for those with autism and a lifting platform on the stairs to accommodate trainees with reduced mobility.
The Incluir Centre is open to the community, working to raise awareness about inclusion. Some of the other activities developed at the centres are conferences and debates, and art exhibitions made by people with disabilities. The Incluir Centres allow visitations by appointment only.