DISABLED employment services provider Remploy has dramatically increased the number of people it has helped into work in South Yorkshire by as much as 18 times over the last year.
The organisation, which also operates its own factories, has released figures showing how many of its clients were found work in 2010/11, compared with 2009/10.
Remploy helped 1,375 people in Sheffield into work last year, more than five times the 251 found a job in 2009/10.
In Rotherham, 423 people were found work in 2010/11, 18 times many as the 23 people assisted the previous year.
The number of people helped in Doncaster was 826, up from 63, while 514 were assisted in Barnsley last year, compared with 45 in 2009/10.
Remploy expanded its job brokerage service for disabled people in 2008 with the aim of quadrupling the amount of jobs it finds for disabled people by 2012.
Tom Jackson, Remploy’s regional director of employment services in Yorkshire, said: “This is a remarkable achievement in a challenging economic environment with high unemployment and is a tribute to the extensive relationships we have with employers.
“We, and the thousands of companies and organisations with which we work, recognise that employing disabled people delivers real social and economic value for their businesses.
“By helping employers to better understand and enjoy the benefits of employing disabled people, in effect transforming their businesses, we achieve the Remploy mission of helping to transform the lives of thousands of people.”
He added: “Our outstanding success only serves to reinforce our belief in a fairer, more diverse society driven by greater inclusion and equality for disabled people.”
Almost one in three people supported into work by Remploy had mental health issues or a learning disability and around three-quarters had been out of work for more than 12 months.
Remploy operates 64 specialist recruitment branches and offices nationwide where disabled people have access to a range of services and support to prepare them for the world of work.
They receive training, support to build their confidence and help with CV writing and interview techniques.
Remploy was criticised by trade unions for closing its own factories in recent years - with 38 jobs lost after a factory in Pogmoor, Barnsley, was axed because it was deemed unprofitable.
The company continues to run a factory on Brightside Lane, Sheffield.