Welsh Government Urged to Engage with Wrexham Remploy

Mark Isherwood

Mark Isherwood

North Wales Assembly Member Mark Isherwood has called on the Welsh Government to engage positively with the programmes being delivered in North Wales by Wrexham Remploy, supporting disabled individuals towards work.

Mr Isherwood, who recently met Remploy’s Chief Executive, Beth Carruthers, to discuss Remploy’s work in Wales, raised the matter when responding to the Deputy Minister for Tackling Poverty’s Statement on the Welsh Government’s ‘Tackling Poverty Action Plan’.

Speaking in the Chamber, Mr Isherwood said: “In the ‘Tackling Poverty Action Plan -Annual Report 2014’, the Deputy Minister referred to Remploy and the Employment Support Grant – something I did welcome. He referred to over 250 former Remploy workers having found new jobs with support from the grant. Can he comment on the situation in Wrexham? Does it include the Wrexham employees?

“Can he comment on the failure of Welsh Government due diligence, when the money was put in without proper commissioning arrangements having been put in place, which meant that those employees were hit for a second time when they lost their jobs for the second time because the contract with Wrexham County Borough Council could not deliver the volumes on which the business model was based?

“Can he confirm how the Welsh Government is working with Remploy itself, which, managed out of its Wrexham office, has delivered 450 disabled people into work in North Wales over the last two years? Fourteen ex- Wrexham Remploy factory staff asked for help, 12 of whom are now in employment. It also runs access to work mental health programmes, with a 92% success rate of getting people in work after six months. I hope and trust that the Welsh Government is engaging positively with those programmes.”

The Minister told Mr Isherwood that the figures provided in the report are national ones and said “I think that we have a good story to tell in the Welsh Government about our commitment to helping people to have real opportunities to re-engage in the world of work.”

Mr Isherwood added: “Remploy is focused on increasing employment and skills opportunities for disabled people in mainstream employment. They operate 15 branches and offices across Wales, including the branch in Wrexham, and supported more than 3,800 people into work in Wales last year”.

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