Scottish businesses are to be offered up to £5,000 to employ Remploy staff who lose their jobs through factory closures.
Enterprise minister Fergus Ewing gave details of the incentive to the Scottish Parliament yesterday as he outlined the Scottish Government’s support to disabled workers being made redundant.
Cross-party talks have been held to help workers at the Dundee and Fife factories after the UK Government announced they would shut if buyers could not be found in the New Year.
Mr Ewing said: “The Scottish Government’s first objective is to try to secure the jobs of those Remploy workers still employed by the company. We are making efforts to make sure that any organisation interested in the current business is supported appropriately through our enterprise bodies.”
The scheme will help companies meet the additional costs associated with training and recruiting ex-Remploy staff and will be worth up to £5,000 for each employee over 18 months and will cover disabled staff who have been made redundant from both stages one and two of the closure process implemented by the UK Government.
The money will cover additional training and support costs incurred by the employer not met through existing programmes or the package of support put in place by the Department of Work and Pensions.
Grant Williams, community union officer on the Remploy Consortium said: “We welcome today’s announcement, it will offer much needed security to those who feared losing their jobs, but Remploy factories deserves more than sticking plaster solutions.
“We want investment targeted towards the search for new owners for the factories and the creation of new and sustainable business models so that the vital opportunities provided by supported employment can continue not only for this generation but future generations.”
Scottish Labour’s Jackie Baillie, said: “While I welcome the Scottish Government’s agreement to our proposals, I fear that it is rather half-hearted and will not be sufficient to make the difference for all those Remploy employees who face redundancy and very uncertain future.”
Dundee West Labour MP Jim McGovern called the Scottish Government’s policy “disappointing” and said it did not go far enough.