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Adapted Vehicle Hire News Updates: Government offers wage subsidies to employers taking over Remploy factories

The government is offering short-term subsidies to employers who take over any of the 36 state-owned Remploy factories facing closure.

It was announced back in March that the factories, which provide sheltered employment for 1,500 disabled people, would be forced to close unless they were taken over,

This new subsidy offer will cover up to a third of the wages of the units’ disabled workers, who have an average annual wage of £13,800.

On top of the subsidy offer, the government has extended the deadline for submission of business plans by prospective bidders for the factories to 25 June.

Maria Miller, minister for disabled people, said: “We’ve always said we wanted to safeguard as many jobs as possible and we have listened to those who have already come forward and bid for the factories. That is why we are now offering this extra support which will add to the variety of innovative and enterprising bids.”

Trade unions representing Remploy workers have launched a campaign to save the factories, arguing that disabled people stand little chance of finding other jobs at a time of high unemployment.

The work and pensions secretary, Iain Duncan Smith, has caused fresh outrage over the closures after reportedly suggesting Remploy workers just made cups of coffee: “Taking this decision was a balance between how much do I want to spend keeping a number of people in Remploy factories not producing stuff, versus getting people into proper jobs.”

In other news, the Royal British Legion is concerned that the new criteria to be applied to the Disability Living Allowance will hit limbless Armed Forces personnel especially hard.

I-drive is the new information portal for disabled drivers from Adapted Vehicle Hire. For more on Adapted Vehicle Hire and the services it offers, visit the homepage.