JUST four sacked disabled workers in Wirral have found new jobs with government help, new figures show.
They were among 28 staff made redundant in August when the Remploy factory in Birkenhead closed.
The statistics triggered Labour calls for the closure programme – of up to 36 remaining Remploy bases across the country – to be put on hold, while the economic slump continues.
Esther McVey, Wirral West MP and the minister for disabled people, said she was monitoring progress “daily”.
Liam Byrne, Labour's work and pensions spokesman, said: “Disabled people desperate for work have been cast adrift into the deepest jobs crisis Britain has seen in decades.”
But the department for work and pensions (DWP) hit back, pointing out the closures began under Labour and insisting it had dramatically stepped up the help on offer.
The £8m support package had helped 129 Remploy staff find work across the UK – 15% of the total, excluding those retiring – but that did not include those who had landed jobs independently.
A DWP spokesman said: “The previous government started the closure of Remploy factories in 2008. They closed 29 factories, but had no systematic way of tracking what happened to the workers.
“We have put in place an £8m package of employment support for affected workers, including one-to-one case workers, and we are tracking the destinations of the ex-employees who are choosing to work with us to find another job.”
Ms McVey said: “We know the jobs market is tough. Rest assured, it's something that takes up part of my day, every day, to make sure we are doing the best we can.”