Remploy was started by the Attlee Government to provide sheltered employment to people with disabilities. It opened it’s first factory in 1946 making violins. Only 15 years ago it operated 83 factories across the UK.
The sheltered employment model became less popular as years went by and the emphasis changed to supporting disabled people into mainstream employment. In 2007 the then Labour Government closed 20 Remploy factories to change the focus onto supporting disabled people in the labour market.
In 2014 Ian Duncan Smith, Secretary of State for Work and Pensions closed the remaining 60+ Remploy factories making all of the workers redundant. Roughly 75% of them as still unemployed.
I was reminded of this story this week because among the products that Remploy made was PPE for the NHS.
HMG used to own several factories that supplied the NHS with PPE. And Ian Duncan Smith closed them in the age of austerity
The terms of my departure from DWP forbid me from making direct criticism of Ian Duncan Smith. So instead this is a TV appearance by John Cooper Clark: