Live updates

Remploy group celebrates 70th anniversary

Disability employment group Remploy is today celebrating 70 years since its formation.

It is also the day the group leaves the public sector in a joint venture partnership between US company Maximus and Remploy employees.

Remploy is marking its 70th anniversary on the same day it leaves government ownership. Credit: Lewis Stickley/PA Wire

Remploy was set up after the Second World War to provide training and employment for injured service personnel and disabled miners.

At its peak, the company's network of factories employed 10,000 disabled people - though in recent years its focus has shifted to supporting people into mainstream employment.

Newport sees biggest increase in Remploy jobs

Employment company Remploy says it's seen an increase of 7% in the number of jobs created for disadvantaged and disabled people in Wales.

Newport saw the biggest increase with 195 new jobs created compared to the previous year.

Other areas of Wales also saw increases.

  • Neath saw an increase of 49% bringing the total number of jobs to 494.
  • Wrexham also saw an increase of 44% bringing the total number to 294
  • Monmouthshire now have 154 jobs available after an increase of 35%.


Remploy sees 7% increase in Welsh jobs

The company has supported more than 80,000 people across the UK into work over the last 5 years Credit: PA

Employment company Remploy says it's seen a 7% increase in the number of jobs created in Wales, over the last 12 months.

Almost 3,900 jobs were created in the last year, for disabled and disadvantaged people.

Figures to the end of March show strong continued growth in the numbers of people supported into work, particularly those with more severe disabilities or health conditions.

Overall in the UK, Remploy delivered 18,500 jobs in 2013-14, an increase of 4% compared to the previous year.

Sian Morgan, Remploy's Director for Wales, said: "We listen to employers' needs and help them to better understand and enjoy the benefits of employing disabled people, in effect transforming their businesses.

"As a result we achieve the Remploy mission as a social business of helping to transform the lives of tens of thousands of disabled people through sustainable employment."

Jobs saved at former Remploy factory in Porth

Across Wales around a third of disabled former Remploy staff have now found new jobs. Credit: PA

Jobs at the former Remploy factory in Porth have been saved after a new business has taken over the site.

E-Cycle Limited have received more than a hundred and twenty thousand pounds in support from the Welsh Government.

Over the last two years the UK Government has announced plans to close the seven Remploy factories in Wales, putting all employees out of work.

But the Welsh Government have set up the Employer Support Grant to offer financial support for employers looking to provide work to eligible disabled Remploy workers.


Port Talbot Remploy factory to close

Remploy has announced that its Port Talbot furniture factory is to close, after the deal with its preferred bidder fell through.

Metalliform Holdings Ltd was in negotiations with Remploy to take over its furniture business, but Remploy reopened discussions with other bidders in July. On its website today, Remploy confirmed no viable bidder has been found.

The Remploy Board has given careful consideration to the bids which were assessed for viability on a series of criteria including continued employment of

disabled people, value for money for the taxpayer and the sustainability of the business.

The Board has determined that no viable business bids meeting these criteria were received for the Furniture business and as a result it will close and all its factories will now move to closure.

All 196 employees, including 160 disabled employees, in factories at Blackburn, Sheffield, Neath and the Furniture Business Office remain at risk of compulsory redundancy. They will be invited to at least two individual consultation meetings over the next 30 days to discuss the options and the support that will be available to them.

– Remploy company statement

The company says 'a number of bids' have been received for the assets of the furniture business, which are being assessed.

  1. Nick Powell

Buyers found for two Welsh Remploy factories

Remploy says it's received bids for its factories in Porth and Port Talbot. The news comes as the company also announced it's to close a further nine of its factories across the UK. The company, which provides jobs for disabled workers says it hopes to complete the Porth sale by mid-August.

Remploy's been shrinking its business because the Westminster government wants it to operate on a commercial basis. Today, the minister for the disabled, Esther McVey, told MPs that the Port Talbot factory "remains in the commercial process". That did not reassure the MP for Neath, Peter Hain.

Is not the truth that amid all the minister’s spin and management-speak, she is strangling Remploy to death, and there is no prospect of the most vulnerable disabled workers in their 50s who work there all the time getting jobs in mainstream employment? Also, she has given no guarantees ... and nor has the preferred bidder, who is based in Yorkshire, that the Neath Port Talbot site at Baglan will remain open. Can she give a guarantee on that now?

– Peter Hain MP

There was no spin in what I said ... as for his comment about strangling, that is incorrect, too. I would say “liberating”. That is why some of the factories that closed have reopened and we are supporting them as best we can.

– Minister for the Disabled Esther McVey MP

The Wales Office said efforts to find jobs for former Remploy workers were having some success.

This Government's priority throughout this process has been to safeguard jobs for disabled people. 200 personal case workers have been made available to provide individual support to Remploy workers affected by the changes . Through the tailored nature of this support package, 130 former Remploy workers in Wales have found new work. I welcome the news that a number of high quality bids have been received for the Remploy site in Port Talbot and Porth. Remploy will [have] the aim of protecting as many jobs for disabled employees as possible."

– Wales Office Minister Stephen Crabb MP
Load more updates