GMB Welcome Acceptance Of Initial Bid By Social Enterprise To Save 200 Remploy Jobs In Birmingham, Coventry And Derby
It is vital that this bid succeeds in order to protect the jobs of hundreds of disabled workers across the Midlands says GMB.
GMB members at Remploy welcome the clearing of a hurdle for a proposals for a social enterprise project for the disabled at Remploy automotive plants in Birmingham, Coventry and Derby after an initial bid was accepted.
This is a big boost of confidence for disabled people working in Birmingham, Coventry and Derby who are setting up a social enterprise to save 200 disabled workers jobs. See earlier press release of 18th Feb 2013 in notes to editors below.
The project will now go to a second bid, and a final decision is likely by August.
If the plan is endorsed, around 200 disabled workers in Birmingham, Coventry and Derby will set up a Social enterprise making car parts for global automotive manufacturers, including Jaguar Land Rover.
A confidential bidding process is being overseen by KPMG, the Remploy board and the Department for Work and Pensions after the future of the factories was plunged into jeopardy by Government cuts.
A total of 34 Remploy factories closed last year after the Government stopped funding but the factories in Garretts Green, Coventry and Derby survived short term and enabled workers to draw up the Social enterprise plan for the employment and training of disabled people within the midlands.
Neil Williams, GMB Organiser said “GMB are really pleased, we are committed to assisting the bid for the social enterprise whenever and wherever we can.
It is vital that this bid succeeds in order to protect the jobs of hundreds of disabled workers across the region.”
Contact: Neil Williams, GMB Organiser 07714 539899 or Samantha Jones, GMB Media Administrator 0121 550 4888.
Notes to Editors
GMB press release Monday 18th February 2013
REMPLOY WORKERS BID FOR AUTOMOTIVE BUSINESS IN BIRMINGHAM, COVENTRY AND DERBY AS SOCIAL ENTERPRISE TO SAVE JOBS
This bid is independent from Remploy and has a lot of backing and support from many sectors, with MPs, schools for disabled, unions, consultants and others pledging support and help says GMB
Remploy workers in the Birmingham are bidding to turn factories in the automotive business into a social enterprise to save the jobs of disabled workers at that factory as well as the sites in Coventry and Derby.
The bid is being spearheaded by Robert Bradley and Martin Hindle who represent the workers at the Birmingham site.
If the bid successful the plan is that any surplus profits will go to help train disabled people and help other good causes in their communities.
This bid follows the decision by the Department of Works and Pensions to remove funding from all Remploy factories by September 2013 with the loss of 1021 disabled jobs across the country. This numbers does not include employees who are not disabled who will lose their jobs as well.
At this moment the automotive business alone is earmarked as being sold as a going concern, due to the business being profitable although a few other businesses are being looked at but no decision has been made.
Neil Williams, GMB regional organiser, said “This bid is independent and totally separate from Remploy and has a lot of backing and support from many sectors, with MPs, schools for disabled, unions, consultants and others pledging support and help.
One of those involved is John Hemming, MP for Yardley, who has been of great help with this bid and remains committed to the cause.
The team who have registered at Companies’ House as a community interest company also have a consultant helping who has been working for free because the wish to see this social enterprise succeed is so strong.
Blue Sky Finance are helping with producing a plan and the procurement of funds, but the team states that:
“Any help is gratefully received as this is about protecting disabled jobs, because the disabled community make a unique workforce where the more able are willing and happy to help those less able and this in turn creates a friendly and professional team based environment that has a true social impact. Plus at the same time helping the local community and economy, especially in such hard times when jobs are scarce”.
The unions have also been looking into the training side of the social enterprise bid to include NVQ Apprenticeships and work placements as well as offering advice and encouragement to the team.
GMB has and will continue to support the social enterprise project however and wherever we can. This has been a difficult time for the Remploy employees and this venture offers hope for the disabled people not just at these sites, but throughout the communities which surround them”.