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Published Tuesday, 22nd July 2014

Esther McVey, Minister for Employment, announced today that the Department for Work and Pensions is to launch a commercial process under which Remploy Employment Services would leave the public sector by March 2015.

It is estimated that by March next year Remploy will have supported more than 100,000 disabled and disadvantaged people into work since 2010.

The Government envisage that the commercial process will create a Joint Venture between a partner or investor and Remploy Employment Services staff operating as a social business in the private sector.

Esther McVey said: “I want to make sure that everyone gets to benefit from the growing economy - Remploy Employment Services has already been very successful in helping disabled people into jobs and the opportunity for new investment will help them take it to the next level.”

Beth Carruthers, Remploy Chief Executive said: “The Government’s announcement  provides us with an exciting opportunity to expand and grow and support many more disabled people.Moving out of the public sector will give us the freedom to raise funding to operate in a much more commercial and competitive way than was possible previously."

“Remploy Employment Services staff have a huge passion for the work they do. As Joint Venture partners they would have a  stake in their future and input to the governance and strategic direction of the company."

“Our key priority during this whole process will be to ensure that disabled people continue to receive the same high level of support to secure employment and achieve their full potential.”

The Remploy Board expressed its desire for Remploy Employment Services to be given the opportunity to take on significant investment and the Department for Work and Pensions has been working with the Board to identify how this could be achieved in line with the Sayce Review recommendations into the Government’s specialist disability employment programmes.

The Department and the Remploy Board agree that there is now an excellent opportunity for an investor or partner to acquire a significant stake in Remploy Employment Services and invest in its continued growth and development.
It is anticipated that all current employees of Remploy Employment Services will transfer to the new company.
Remploy Employment Services is one of the Government’s key specialist disability support providers. The Department will have a contractual arrangement with the new company to continue national delivery of the Work Choice programme and other Departmental contracts and agreements which are expected to be transferred as part of this process.

Beth Carruthers said: “This exciting new phase in Remploy’s long history of supporting disabled people gives us the opportunity to grow and innovate and use our commercial freedom to transform the lives of thousands more disabled people.”

Read the full ministerial statement.

Listen to Beth's interview on BBC Radio 5 Live, scroll to 1hr 52.

ENDS

For further information and interview requests, please contact Remploy press office: 0300 456 8121

Notes to Editors: 
  • In the last five years Remploy has found more than 80,000 jobs in mainstream employment for people with a range of physical, sensory and mental disabilities and other disadvantages.
  • Remploy partners with more than 2,500 of the country’s biggest employers including Marks & Spencer, BT, ASDA, Royal Mail, Sainsbury’s and the NHS
  • Remploy has an increasing focus on providing specialist disability employment services to people with mental health conditions or learning disabilities
  • It has a successful specialist service which supports ex-service personnel who have left the forces with disabilities or health conditions
  • It continues to invest in developing innovative approaches and services for employers which are cost effective and business efficient including consultancy and a vocational rehabilitation service