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Disabilities are not an obstacle to joining Toyota

New chapter in our collaboration with our partner Blankedale brings more comfort to the workers
In an inclusive society everyone should have equal opportunity. For over 10 years we employ people with disabilities at Toyota Parts Centre Europe via our partner Blankedale. To enhance sustainability of their employment, Blankedale and Toyota have set up a new tailor-made workplace.  

History of inclusive employment

Since 2012 we collaborate with our local partner Blankedale, an NGO in Belgium’s Flanders region which supports people with disabilities. Blankedale helps them to engage in employment, develop their skills and unleash their potential. The NGO matches candidates who have disabilities with employers and provides tailor-made sheltered workshops. 20 people we employed via Blankedale have been working as part of our team at Toyota Parts Centre Europe (TPCE) for more than 10 years.  

New workplace offers more sustainability

Last week, we inaugurated a new TPCE site for the Blankedale workers on Blankedale’s premises in Tienen, some 20km away from TPCE. All the Blankedale workers live in or around Tienen, so they will no longer need to do daily commute which takes half an hour one way. On top, they can work in a day shift from 08:00 to 16:00 instead of trying to fit into TPCE’s 3-shifts regime. 

Like the other Toyota parts logistics centres, the new Toyota area in Blankedale’s Tienen site integrates all the Toyota principles and standards such as safety, quality and efficiency. At the same time, the shopfloor layout and processes have been adapted to the needs of the employees with disabilities.  


Supporting towards more self-reliance

As in the last 10-plus years, experienced Toyota members support the Blankedale employees by providing training in safety, quality, kaizen, TPS (Toyota Production Systems) principles as well as operational processes that are specific to the tasks which they are responsible for - relabelling. Toyota plans to further grow the Tienen site while supporting the workers to be more self-reliant through additional training to help develop even more their capabilities and skills.   
“The new Tienen site supports further employment growth for Blankedale. This is fully in line with Toyota’s aim to create an inclusive and sustainable society. Additionally, through this collaboration, Blankedale is being a great support for us to continuously grow our European parts supply operations with a focus on our ‘customer first’ mindset. I would like to thank everyone in Blankedale and Toyota Parts Supply Chain Group for the excellent work that brought this collaboration project to the next level.”
Karel Verpoorten, Head of Warehouse Operations, TPCE
“We are proud of our employees who have been proving themselves to be capable of working for a big company like Toyota. All seems possible when you are motivated and committed, and adequate support is available.”
Luc Govers, Director, Blankedale
“Our purpose is to create an inclusive working environment for all our colleagues regardless of differences in abilities. Everyone should have the chance to fully explore their potential while feeling welcome and safe.”
Kylie Jimenez, Senior Vice President, Toyota Motor Europe