From education to employment

Additional Support Announced by Minister for Disabled People Anne McGuire

Following the publication of a report into the future of Remploy, The Minister for Disabled People, Anne McGuire MP, announced that the company will be given support to modernize so that it becomes financially sustainable and can support significantly more disabled workers.

Speaking on the subject, Anne McGuire said: “For over sixty years, Remploy has been providing employment for disabled people. But as the nature of the economy changes so we must ensure that Remploy is best equipped to meet those changes and continue providing opportunities for disabled people.”

Fostering Independence

Remploy, which sets out to encourage independence for disabled people through work, currently supports 9,000 disabled people through a factory network and other supported employment programmes. The report, Remploy – Review of Future Business Options by PricewaterhouseCoopers and Stephen Duckworth, Chief Executive of Disability Matters, sets out possible solutions to the challenges facing the company.

The report shows that the average annual subsidy for Remploy factory workers is £18,000 per person, with the highest subsidies over £48,000 per person. This compares with other supported employment that costs £5,000 per person per year. The report puts forward a range of possible scenarios for the business – from no change to complete closure of the factory network.

However, Anne McGuire announced that she would not be accepting either of these options, and announced instead that the government would give Remploy additional funding in this financial year to prevent immediate closures. The minister confirmed a five year funding envelope of £111 million per year to enable the company to plan for the future and set a new aspiration of helping significantly more disabled people into work.


Remploy was formally founded in 1945 to provide sheltered employment for disabled workers, many of whom were ex-servicemen. However, Anne McGuire made it clear that the company would need to modernise to become financially sustainable and support significantly more disabled workers into work. She stated: “The report published today, along with that published by the National Audit Office (NAO) last year, shows that simply keeping the status quo will neither help increase the number of disabled people supported by Remploy nor be a good use of public money. I will be asking the Board of Remploy to bring forward a five year restructuring plan.

“We are giving Remploy the necessary modernization funding to lay the ground work for this plan,” she continued. “I expect that full and meaningful consultation with the Unions and Remploy employees will take place as this strategy is developed. I will also be asking for proposals which protect Remploys disabled employees from compulsory redundancy. Currently Remploy supports around 9,000 disabled people in factory employment, Interwork and managed services. In the longer term we would expect any restructuring to help support significantly more disabled workers.”

Sudakshina Mukherjee

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