Almost half of the ex-Remploy factory workers - around 450 disabled people - who have taken up the Government’s employment support package have found work or are in training.
Following the factory closures, more than 210 disabled ex-Remploy workers found work, with almost 240 taking up the opportunity to retrain for a new job.
More than 1,000 ex-workers have taken up the Government’s offer of employment support and are receiving one-to-one support and advice on moving to mainstream work from more than 200 dedicated advisers.
The factory closures follow the advice of a disability review which recommended the £320m protected budget for disability employment should be used more effectively to get disabled people into mainstream jobs instead of subsidising loss-making factories.
Minister for Disabled People, Esther McVey, said:
Disabled people should have exactly the same choices as everyone else in the world of work - from hairdressing to engineering and everything in between.
That is why we have protected the budget, but we are using the money more effectively to support more of the 6.9m disabled people in this country of working age into mainstream jobs.
I know this is a tough time for ex-Remploy workers - which is why we are doing everything we can to help them with an £8m employment package which has clearly started to take effect.
This follows news that four Remploy factory businesses have now re-opened as going concerns. Chesterfield, Barrow, Bolton and Wigan factories have all been sold or re-opened, with many taking on original staff.
Notes to Editors:
- Of the 1,000 ex-factory workers who are choosing to work with us to find another job, more than 210 have found work (of which almost 180 are currently in employment) and almost 240 are in training. The remaining 500 ex-workers affected by the closures either decided to retire or did not take up our offer of the employment support package.
- The employment rates for disabled people have increased gradually over the years from 44.5% in 2002 to 48.9% in 2012. However, only 46% of working age disabled people are employed, compared with 76% of people who are not disabled.
- There is therefore a 30% employment rate gap between disabled and non-disabled people, representing over 2 million people.
- The Government has put in place an £8m package of employment support for those affected by the factory closures, including a Personal Case Worker to help individuals with their future choices, as well as access to a personal budget of around £2,500 per disabled person.
- To encourage bids that maximise the continued employment of disabled people, the Department for Work and Pensions will offer a three year tapering wage subsidy totalling £6,400 for each eligible disabled member of staff. In addition Remploy will also fund professional advice and support worth up to £10,000 for employee-led bids.
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