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  1. ITV Report

Former Remploy worker gives others hope

The Greencap factory in Caerphilly is the work of former Remploy employee Steven Watts Photo: ITV Wales News

Earlier this year the UK Government announced it would be cutting the funding to 'non-viable' factories. In Wales there were nine factories and of these four have already closed and another is due to shut later this month.

Back in 2007 it was announced a number of Remploy factories would shut, including one in Treforest. Steven Watts lost his job and struggled to find work as did many of his colleagues. After hearing about the current job losses he, with financial help from Caerphilly County Borough Council, set up a business renovating office furniture. So far he's already employed one former colleague and hopes to eventually employ plenty more former Remploy staff.

This is all geared up for disabled people, I know a lot are going to lose their jobs in Remploy and as much work as we can get in the more people we can have.

– Steven Watts, Manager, Greencap

To help get the business off the ground Steven was given money by Caerphilly County Borough Council.

The way things are with Remploy at the moment such projects are much needed not just in Caerphilly but throughout the whole of South East Wales and the UK in general.

– Cllr Ken James, Caerphilly County Borough Council

Last month, the UK Government confirmed that five Remploy factories in Wales, which employ disabled people and those with 'complex barriers' to work, would close. Those sites include Aberdare, Abertillery, Merthyr Tydfil and Wrexham which have since closed and the Swansea factory will close this month.

Bids were invited for the factories at Bridgend and Croespenmaen and are currently being considered, while sits at Neath and Porth are being kept open.

The Welsh Government has said it will pay firms taking on Remploy workers who lose their jobs when their factories shut. Education Minister Leighton Andrews said costs and wages would be covered for up to four years.

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