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Published Tuesday, 5th November 2013

Seven disabled people who experienced the frustration and stress of unemployment are celebrating being back in work with multi-national company, Diam.

Seven disabled people who experienced the frustration and stress of unemployment are celebrating being back in work. Their success is thanks to a partnership between Diam, a multi-national company with a factory in Leicestershire and Remploy, which provides specialist employment services for people with disabilities and health conditions.

All seven are employed at Diam’s Loughborough site, which manufactures display units for some of the world’s largest cosmetic companies, including Chanel, P&G and L’Oreal.

For one of the group, being employed marks a welcome change of fortune. Simon Hallam, 48, from Wigston near Leicester, suffered a stroke in 2009 and had to take almost a year off from his job as a national sales manager for a UK company. Soon after he returned to work, Simon was told he was being made redundant.

“I was devastated. My confidence was destroyed,” recalled Simon. “It wasn’t the first time I had been made redundant but coming so soon after returning to work from a serious illness, I found it really difficult to cope.”

Simon was referred to Remploy’s employment services branch in Leicester, where he received tailored support with his job searching. “Remploy were brilliant,” he said. “They helped me create a new CV that highlighted my skills to employers and gave me advice about interview techniques. Above all, they helped restore my confidence.”

The support paid off for Simon who is now enjoying his new role at Diam. “It’s a fantastic feeling being back in work. I’m making good progress and have made new friends. Having a job again has transformed my life. I can now see a way forward.”

Forty-eight-year-old Peter Gent from Coalville, Leicestershire was made redundant at the start of this year when the engineering company Schlegel Automotive closed its factory in the town.

Peter, who lost all the fingers of his left hand in a work-place accident, was employed at Schlegel for 30 years. “An injection press crushed my fingers and I was off work for 17 months,” he recalled. “A year-and-a-half after returning to work I was made redundant. It was a bitter blow.”

Peter applied for more than 100 jobs but only received one reply. “However, I was referred to Remploy for specialist support and that’s when things started to look up.

“My employment advisor told me about a vacancy at Diam and I took part in a workshop and training session at the Leicester branch to make sure I was right for the job and the job was right for me. The result is I now have a job that has transformed my life. I can’t thank Remploy enough for their support. They helped me rebuild my self-esteem and found me a job with an enlightened employer that can see beyond disability and recognises a person’s ability.”

David Bancroft, 53, also from Coalville, has an artificial leg. Like Peter he was made redundant when Schlegel Automotive closed and he too applied for many jobs without success.

“My world collapsed when Schlegel closed,” he said. “It was such a shock. I’ve always worked so the six months I was unemployed was very tough. I’m sure some employers rejected me simply because I have an artificial leg. But that attitude is so wrong. I was desperate for them to see my ability not my disability.

“Being referred to Remploy for support was good for me. It gave me a chance to meet other disabled people who, like me, were unemployed but determined to get another job. And without Remploy’s support I wouldn’t have got this job.”

Steve Ison-Jacques, Production Director at Diam said the company has an excellent relationship with Remploy and its other recruitment partner Pertemps.

“Remploy has helped us find people who are motivated to work. As a result seven people who were having difficulty getting back to work because of their disability or health conditions now have jobs. They are delighted and so am I!”

ENDS

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



Notes to editors:
  • In the last four years Remploy Employment Services has found more than 50,000 jobs in mainstream employment for people with a range of physical, sensory and mental disabilities and other disadvantages.
  • Remploy is driven by the fundamental belief that every disabled person can, with appropriate support and specialist advice, secure sustainable employment
  • Employment Services has an increasing focus on providing specialist disability employment services to people with mental health conditions or learning disabilities
  • It continues to invest in developing innovative approaches and services for employers which are cost effective and business efficient including consultancy and vocational rehabilitation services
  • Remploy ES partners with more than 2,500 of the country’s biggest employers including BT, ASDA, Royal Mail, Sainsbury’s, the NHS and Marks & Spencer
  • It operates a national network of more than 60 town and city centre recruitment branches and offices providing specialist recruitment and development services to job seekers