Bournemouth’s action group to support disabled workers

An action group project is being set up to help  Dorset Enterprises‘s workers after the decision to shut down the Bournemouth’s company last week. Protests out of the Town Hall during the Council meeting to support the 23 employees that will loose their job as a consequence.

Bournemouth Council decided last week to close Dorset Enterprises, founded in 1914 by a Bournemouth councillor to provide work for injured servicemen returning from World War I, since the company have had a £471,000 loss over the last three years. For a long time the company has provided jobs for disable people and many people showed up outside the Town Hall during a Council meeting last week to support the 23 staffmembers, 19 of whom are disabled and who may have a lot of difficulties in finding another job. Councillor Blair Crawford, portfolio holder for Adult Social Care, said: “These are times when the Adult’s Social care in Bournemouth is under a tremendous pressure, so we cannot really justify putting so much money behind this project.” He added: ” We have to deal with the human challenge because we’re dealing with vulnerable people who need support.”

Paul White, Dorset Enterprise Manager, said: “It will be really difficult for the majority of people to find another employment because of the different range of disabilities they have”.

The Council is now working with the Job Centre and members of the voluntary sector to make sure every effort will be made to help them.

“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, including where we might be able to redeploy them within the Council,” Said Mr Crawford. “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, full or part time or on a voluntary basis.”

Main picture: Michell Zappa

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