Nia Griffith MP has criticised the refusal by Maria Miller, the UK disability minister, to take up the offer made by Welsh Government Minister Leighton Andrews AM to accept devolved responsibility for the Remploy factories in Wales, so his department can call in the necessary expertise over the next three years to improve their viability, and Nia has demanded a debate on strategies for making Remploy factories viable.
Commenting on the government’s planned closures, Nia Griffith said
“Just at a time when we need more manufacturing jobs, it is madness to close factories and leave the employees join the back of the ever lengthening queues of workers chasing a diminishing pool of jobs. The products are excellent – with more investment in marketing, there is the potential to develop Remploy factories into very successful businesses, and that is exactly the approach Leighton Andrews is proposing. When I visited the Fforestfach factory last year we saw a prototype fireplace that a big DIY chain is interested in, as well as office and hospital furniture. Within a few months of that visit, Geraint Davies, MP for Swansea West where the factory is situated helped fill the order books by promoting their products to the University, and the local Health Board. Just think what proper investment in marketing could do.”