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The Government Agency Dedicated To Getting Disabled People Jobs Failed To Meet Its Targets

Remploy only had to get 7,500 disabled people into jobs. It missed its target.

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Remploy, the government-owned recruitment agency for disabled people, has missed its own target for helping disabled people back into work.

The organisation, which is about to be privatised, was tasked with finding jobs for 7,500 disabled people in the last financial year. But the agency only managed to help 5,654 into jobs, according to a statement issued on Thursday.

Remploy was originally founded to employ disabled people in factories across the UK, but the coalition closed the last of these sheltered workplaces in 2013. Instead, the organisation has transformed itself into Britain's "leading provider of disability employment services".

But it appears to be struggling with this new role.

A spokesman for Remploy blamed the failure to find jobs for disabled people on the fact that it had taken on contracts with employers relatively recently: "Sometimes with new contracts they take time to bed in, it takes time for you to work with new partners, to get that partnership going.

"Perhaps the targets were overoptimistic, but basically they're smaller, newer contracts. Sometimes in the first year you undershoot. We win these contracts because our speciality is with supporting disabled people and we have a proud history of doing that."

Remploy did exceed a target to get 8,500 disabled people into jobs through Work Choice, a separate programme that seeks to keep disabled people in their jobs, or find them jobs if they are not yet employed.

A spokesman for disability charity Scope said individuals with disabilities were struggling to find jobs across the UK.

"Disabled people are pushing hard to find jobs and get on in the workplace," it said. "Nine in ten disabled people work or have worked. Yet only half of disabled people have a job right now.

"Many disabled people are falling out of work, when simple adjustments could be made by workplaces to enable them to stay in work and progress in their careers."

Remploy ran 92 factories across the country employing disabled people before they were shut down last year. It claims it has helped almost 100,000 disabled people find jobs in the UK since 2010.

Although it is backed by the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP), there are plans to privatise Remploy by March next year.

The DWP did not respond to a request for comment by the time of publication.

Siraj Datoo is a political reporter for BuzzFeed News and is based in London.

Contact Siraj Datoo at siraj.datoo@buzzfeed.com.

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