Social visit celebrates Colebridge Enterprises milestone

Posted on 11 Mar 2015 by Jonny Williamson

Colebridge Enterprises – a social enterprise that provides training, work experience and employment for people with learning disabilities – is celebrating assembling its four millionth automotive part.

Hazel Blears MP on the production line at Colebridge Enterprises.
Hazel Blears MP on the production line at Colebridge Enterprises.

The milestone achievement for Colebridge Enterprises was recognised by ‘Social Value Act’ champion Hazel Blears, who received a guided tour of its Solihull factory before helping to package the landmark component.

Organised by Social Enterprise West Midlands (SEWM) and Social Enterprise UK, the visit also saw the Labour MP and Meriden Constituency candidate Tom McNeil chat to bosses about the opportunities and challenges it faces in securing new contracts and sustaining the growth it has enjoyed since it started in 2012.

She also chatted to members of staff who range from 18 to 55 years-old and have some form of learning disability or have been unemployed for a long time.

CEO of Colebridge Trust, Dave Pinwell commented: “It’s fantastic that we have been involved in assembling and packing 4 million components in just over two years.

“The majority of this work has been for tier 1 automotive suppliers. This is due to our location in the heart of the Midlands automotive sector, but we can work with any company that wants high quality light assembly or packing work.”

Pinwell continued: “Our role is to get individuals back into the work environment by giving them additional support and access to learning opportunities. It’s a launchpad into longer-term employment.

“It was great to show Hazel Blears around, someone who is very passionate about increasing the importance of social value both in the public and private sector.”

Hazel Blears, MP for Salford and Eccles said: “The workers at Colebridge clearly enjoy coming to work; they can earn a wage, learn valuable skills and do a great job for the automotive industry – it’s a win win for everyone.

Chief Executive of Social Enterprise West Midlands, Melanie Mills added her support: “Colebridge Enterprises has delivered every single one of those 4 million parts on time and has achieved 99.98% right first time quality levels – an achievement very few industry rivals can match! Better still, the absolute and compelling bonus is the social value this business creates.”