Motherwell and Wishaw MSP John Pentland has called for more to be done to help Remploy workers following the news that the UK Government is to close the Netherton factory, one of 36 Ministers consider ‘non-viable’.
Closure of the Netherton factory would see the loss of 22 jobs for disabled people and Mr Pentland praised North Lanarkshire Council for the support it’s offering including possible expansion of the Beltane product workshop in Wishaw.
Mr Pentland said: “It may be we can’t save all the factories so instead of trying to turn everything into an unproductive constitutional blame game, we must consider alternative means of providing and developing supported employment.
“I know the council is already considering the expansion of its operations which provide supported employment for 140 people, and will offer support through the North Lanarkshire’s Working scheme.
“I hope the Scottish Government can extend support for such action by local authorities and social enterprises through procurement and other initiatives.”
Mr Pentland also noted suggestions Remploy workers could set up their own social enterprises and community cooperatives.
He added: ”The physical assets should be given to the council or social enterprise willing to take on the operation, but needs greater use of EU public procurement rules, which allow companies with a majority of disabled workers to be awarded contracts.”