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Barking disabled worker finds work two weeks after losing job in government cull

PUBLISHED: 17:54 27 September 2012 | UPDATED: 11:54 28 September 2012

Protest: Remploy workers including Paul Effeny demonstrated against the closure of their factory in Long Reach Road

Protest: Remploy workers including Paul Effeny demonstrated against the closure of their factory in Long Reach Road

Archant

A disabled worker is celebrating after landing employment two weeks after his Barking factory was shut down in a controversial government jobs cull.

Cleaner Paul Effeny, 45, was left devastated after becoming one of around 60 staff made redundant when the Remploy factory in Long Reach Road closed last month.

Paul said he went to his job centre every day without success but eventually found employment packing sugar at the Tate and Lyle refinery in Silvertown through the Adecco agency.

Paul, of Bateman Close, Barking, said: “I was lucky. I was only out of work for two-and-a-half weeks.

“I had to go in, fill a few forms and I started the same day.

“I’m hoping I can get a permanent job. I’m keeping my fingers crossed. I really enjoy it.”

Paul, who has learning difficulties, is believed to be one of only two disabled workers from the former Remploy factory to have found employment. His contract runs out in February.

Paul indicated he had not received as much support as he could have from the government since losing his job - a view shared by some of his former colleagues.

Julie Haynes, a former Unite rep at Remploy Barking, said: “A lot of people are saying similar things as well to me.

“The government keeps telling us a lot of money is being put into this, but essentially the jobs are not there.

“Well done to Paul. He seems to be enjoying it but it is temporary. Hopefully it will lead on to other things.”

The government closed a total of 24 Remploy factories last month as part of a drive to transfer disabled workers into mainstream employment.

The Department for Work and Pensions said the £320million budget for specialist employment support was being protected.

A government spokesman said: “The vast majority of Remploy workers have taken up the offer of support and have already been allocated their own personal case worker.

“This is part of the £8m package of support we are offering to every disabled person affected.”


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