Bournemouth Borough Council is in the process of setting up an action group to work with the Job Centre and members of the voluntary sector to ensure every effort is made to support the 23 staff at Dorset Enterprises facing redundancy, 19 of whom are disabled.
Councillor Blair Crawford, portfolio holder for Adult Social Care, said: “The factory business was not working in its current form but those skills that were not appropriate for that factory environment could be suitable at another place of employment. Dorset Enterprises staff are people with real skills and potentially plenty to offer the workforce and we want to ensure we are leaving no stone unturned to support them in the future.
“The action group is tasked with reviewing the skills of all the workers and assessing what training, development or support they may need, seeing what they are capable of and helping to find alternative employment. Our primary focus is to truly engage with the people with a disability to offer them training and practical experience that will enable them to enter work elsewhere in a full or part time or voluntary basis.”
He added: “The action group will also be continuing discussions with organisations who have expressed an interest in the use of the factory site to provide a safe environment where those with a disability can receive training and practical experience and support to enable them to successfully enter the workplace, access further training or enter voluntary service.”
The decision to close Dorset Enterprises was made earlier this month by Bournemouth’s Cabinet after efforts to save the factory, which has been averaging £471,000 a year losses, proved unsuccessful.
The Council pledged at that meeting it would do all it could to help the 23 staff affected.
Posted on Friday 25th January 2013