A FIRM offering employment services for disabled people is backing work placements.

Remploy has provided valuable work experience for 194 young people with disabilities at its factories in Yorkshire and Humber during the past 12 months.

They include 27 trainees at the company’s Huddersfield factory at Tandem Industrial Estate, Waterloo, which makes products including interior trims for cars.

Remploy’s other Yorkshire factories are in Leeds, which provided 39 places, Pontefract with 26 and Sheffield, where there were 102 trainees.

The firm’s Site Trainee Programme places disabled people referred from educational services, local authorities and training providers into one of Remploy’s 54 factories across the country.

Remploy said the programme offered invaluable work experience, encouraged individuals into a “work routine” and built up confidence.

As part of the programme, young people can attend one of Remploy’s network of 40 high street recruitment branches for pre-employment sessions and to get support with job applications and interview skills.

Alan Hill, Remploy’s director of enterprise businesses, said: “The aim is that the working environment of the factory will provide disabled individuals with opportunities to develop their skills, build self-esteem and ultimately enable their career progression through personal development.”

Commenting on the figures, he added: “This is an outstanding result and certainly demonstrates an alternative use of our factory network – as it clearly has a positive impact on disabled people entering the workplace.

“Our factories are a fantastic resource for local communities and we are constantly striving to create more social value for the money it costs us to employ disabled people and to build strong sustainable links with local communities.

Helping disabled and disadvantaged people to gain work experience and job skills is an excellent way of demonstrating an alternative use of our factory network for the benefit of society and ultimately the tax payer.”

Last year, Remploy found jobs in mainstream employment for more than 20,000 people with a range of physical, sensory and mental disabilities – 75% of whom had been out of work for more than a year.

The company has a national network of 54 factories employing more than 2,000 disabled people.

Remploy is the country’s largest specialist employer of people with disabilities and health conditions.

Among the products it provides are chemical biological radiological and nuclear protection suits for the police and the armed forces and components for leading motor manufacturers.

It also operates an IT re-cycling business to help firms safely remove sensitive data from end-of-use IT equipment such as PCs, Notebooks, Printers and handheld devices.