Page last updated at 18:07 GMT, Thursday, 29 November 2012

Remploy debate 1

Enterprise Minister Fergus Ewing announced he was drawing up plans for a support package to help meet the needs of disabled workers losing their jobs at Remploy factories, during a debate on 29 November 2012.

The minister also called for a halt to any further action to sell or close remaining Remploy businesses until an independent review had been carried out on the "this woefully ill thought through process".

At the start of the year, there were nine Remploy factories in Scotland.

The UK government made a decision in March to withdraw financial support from the factories.

Motherwell, Aberdeen and Edinburgh sites have since closed.

It was announced on 26 November 2012 that a site at Springburn in Glasgow will also close.

Remploy was set up in 1945 to provide "sheltered employment" and training for disabled ex-servicemen, but has gone on to provide long-term work.

Mr Ewing said "We have seen three factory sites close in Scotland, with 61 disabled people losing their jobs in the process and this week came the further devastating news that Springburn is to close with a further 45 disabled people set to lose their jobs."

The minister said a report on the Remploy factories by Scottish Enterprise and Just Enterprise highlighted the "committed, determined and in some instances highly skilled workforce who were bewildered by what was happening to them and sceptical of the modernisation process to date".

He said he hoped to tell parliament the details of the financial support package by Christmas and criticised the DWP and Remploy management of creating a "cloud of uncertainty" for Remploy workers.

Labour MSP Patricia Ferguson paid tribute to Remploy Staff in Scotland and said "nothing about this process has been either open or transparent".

The Glasgow Maryhill and Springburn MSP said the way the Springburn factory and workers had been treated was "a scandal" going on to say "what is worse is the DWP and Remploy management are colluding in the process".

She backed Mr Ewing's call for a moratorium on further factory closures or sales and called for the UK government to carry an investigation into Remploy and the DWP and said if they declined to do so the National Audit Office should get involved.

Scottish Conservative MSP Mary Scanlon said the statement and allegations certainly deserved a response from the UK government minister.

The second part of the debate can be viewed below:

Remploy debate 2


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