Back in May 2007 there was a news story about Remploy closing factories across the UK. Not perhaps the best way to learn of Remploy. Of course there is more to Remploy than was mentioned in the news bulletins.

Remploy was set up under the 1944 Disabled Persons (Employment) Act by Ernest Bevin, then Minister of Labour. The company was formally founded in April 1945 and the first factory opened in 1946 making furniture and violins at Bridgend in South Wales, where many of the workers were disabled ex-miners.

Remploy went on to develop a factory network throughout the UK, operating in a diverse variety of business streams including the manufacture of school furniture, motor components and chemical, biological and nuclear protection suits for police and military in Britain and overseas.

Moving with the times, and responding to the decline in UK manufacturing, Remploy expanded into the service sector, creating businesses such as:

In 1988, Remploy recognised that it could help meet the changing needs of disabled people and people with a health condition and expanded its operations to help individuals find work with other companies.

As a provider of specialist employment services Remploy offers advice, pre-employment training, employment opportunities and support for disabled people and people with a health condition and advises employers on issues surrounding recruitment and retention in the workplace.

Remploy works closely with Jobcentre Plus, the Learning & Skills Council and many of the UK’s top employers including Tesco, TK Maxx and BT to enable disabled people to obtain sustainable employment.

By 2012, Remploy aims to increase the number of people it supports to 20,000 each year.

Remploy is already making significant moves to support this growth, through the opening of new city-centre branches and the launch of new services, such as Learning and Return to Work.

The UK Government is also undertaking an independent strategic review of Remploy to assess how a rebalancing of the company can better serve the changing requirements of disabled jobseekers.

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