Disabled workers struggle for jobs

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Trade unions representing Sheffield Remploy staff have highlighted performance figures showing the company’s factories were beating Government targets.

However, the statistics also showed the number of disabled people found alternative mainstream work was 25 per cent below target.

Remploy’s factories are all being closed or sold – with the Sheffield site on Brightside Lane shutting last month with the loss of 80 jobs.

Ministers said that the £97.9 million subsidy for Remploy factories could be better-used to help a greater number of disabled people into jobs.

But the company’s 2011/12 results showed the subsidy per employee of £22,400 was less than the Government target of £24,000.

The operating loss of the firm’s factories was £49.2m, compared with a target of £52.5m.

Meanwhile, only 12,463 disabled workers were helped into mainstream jobs against a target of 16,500.

James Stribley, GMB convenor at the former Sheffield factory, said: “Availability of jobs in open employment is a myth – there is a shortfall and a lot of the jobs being created are not permanent.

“There is a merry-go-round where some people are found a job, then lose it three times.”

Remploy’s performance figures were published by the Department for Work and Pensions – which set Remploy funding of £67.3m for the 2013/14 financial year.