Workers at Government’s Remploy factories – which provide employment for disabled workers – are set to be offered voluntary redundancy with a promise of help to find work in the private sector.
There are 54 Remploy factories spread across the country spread across the country which make a wide range of products including furniture, car parts and medical devices. Between them they employ 2,800 people.
However, according to a statement from Remploy, the factories “have suffered the effects of the current economic climate and do not have the level of business that we need and anticipated.”
It said many of its factories do not have enough work and are operating at less than 50 per cent capacity.
“As a result Remploy is not fulfilling its mission to provide sustainable employment opportunities for disabled people,” it continued.
For that reason, a voluntary redundancy scheme will now open, following consultations with unions.
The Telegraph quotes a Government source in saying: “Despite £555m in Government funding Remploy’s factories have not been able to compete as commercial businesses. For the vast majority of disabled people, mainstream employment is a preferable option, and workers who take voluntary redundancy will be helped into a job through Remploy’s successful Employment Services.”
It is estimated that it costs the public £25,000 for each Remploy factory worker.
Last year, Remploy’s Employment Services, based in 40 offices around the country, helped 10,000 disabled people find jobs across a network of 2,500 companies that it deals with. These include BT, ASDA, Royal Mail, Sainsbury’s, the NHS and Marks & Spencer. Remploy hopes to increase this figure to 30,000 by 2012/13.
In 2008 29 Remploy factories were closed although no redundancies were made at that time.