A Wrexham business, which sells wheelchairs, disability scooters and stair lifts, has handed a jobs lifeline to two disabled men who were made redundant when the town’s Remploy factory closed.
Dave had clocked up 26 years at the Remploy factory, rising to become a leading hand. Carl was employed for 25 years at the site as a fork lift truck driver. Despite receiving a comprehensive package of specialist support from Remploy’s Wrexham branch, both men feared they might never work again.
However, thanks to DSL, Remploy and the Welsh Government’s Employer Support Grant, which contributes towards the cost of wages for disabled former Remploy workers, Dave and Carl are now relishing the fresh start they have been given.
Dave, from Wrexham, said: “Unemployment shattered my confidence. I’m normally very upbeat but not having a reason to get out of bed in the morning left me feeling depressed.
“But Remploy and DSL have got me back on my feet. Remploy helped me with my job searching and provided me with advice on interview techniques and how to create a standout CV. It was what I needed and paved the way to me being given this new opportunity.”
Carl, also from Wrexham, had more than a dozen interviews before he finally landed his new job at DSL. “I was scared stiff at each interview,” he admitted. “I hadn’t had one for a quarter of a century, so it was quite an ordeal.”
DSL owner Russell Allmand, who started the business 20 years ago, said he was delighted to be able to offer both men an opportunity to get back to work.
“Once Dave and Carl had shown me what they could do in their work trials, I had no hesitation in taking them on. They are committed and dedicated, which is what really matters. At DSL we look beyond disability and concentrate on a person’s ability.”
In January this year Remploy launched its Welsh business arm, Remploy Cymru designed to meet the unique challenges that disabled and disadvantaged people like Dave and Carl face in Wales.
Only 38 per cent of working age disabled people are employed in Wales compared to 48 per cent in the UK. There are also higher levels of people with mental health issues compared to the UK as a whole.
Sian Morgan, Remploy’s business development director in Wales, said: “Remploy Cymru will provide a service tailored to the needs of people in Wales. We will engage with communities and local organisations to bridge the employment gap between disabled and non-disabled people, which currently stands at more than 40 per cent.
Picture caption: Carly Myers, left and Dave McCarthy
For further information and interview requests, please contact Remploy press office: 0300 456 8121
Notes to editors:
- Remploy Cymru has 17 branches and 21 outreach offices, providing access to specialist employment services across Wales
- In the last five years Remploy has helped more than 11,000 disabled and disadvantaged people into work in Wales
- Nationally in the last five years Remploy has found almost 100,000 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
- In July 2014 the Department for Work and Pensions launched a commercial process under which Remploy Employment Services would leave government ownership by March 2015
- On 12 March 2015, Remploy entered into a joint venture with MAXIMUS, a leading operator of government health and human services programmes in the United States, UK, Canada, Australia and Saudi Arabia
- The joint venture will help develop Remploy to its full potential, enabling it to support many more disabled people into work
- Remploy formally left government ownership on 7 April 2015