Falkirk Asset staff told they are not being ‘kicked out’

Falkirk Council plans to close the Asset training support service in Tamfourhill''Picture: Michael Gillen
Falkirk Council plans to close the Asset training support service in Tamfourhill''Picture: Michael Gillen

Vulnerable adults who use a closure-threatened work support service have been assured they are not being “kicked out”.

Falkirk Council is proposing to shut the Asset employment training unit in Tamfourhill Industrial Estate.

It currently provides employment for 56 adults with learning difficulties, mainly on a part-time basis. At the sheltered workshop they make garden furniture, balloon decorations and print wedding stationery.

Last week, The Falkirk Herald highlighted the fears of parents and carers for the future of those who attend.

But Councillor Linda Gow, social work spokeswoman, stepped in to reassure everyone.

She said: “It is certainly not a case of anyone getting kicked out. We are looking to improve the service we offer clients and it’s all about helping people progress. This is seen as a step up to help people progress and is not just trying to save money.”

The councillor added that consultation had already taken place with Asset staff and trade unions with future updates due to be given by managers before individual talks are held to discuss redeployment.

She said: “Service users were all sent a letter in February and also offered a referral to advocacy if required. Meetings are planned for the next couple of weeks with individuals and their carers.

“Some people will transfer to our employment training unit where they will have the opportunity to work on courses and get qualifications, while others will transfer to Haven, where again they will have a chance to gain skills and qualifications to prepare them for work.

“It’s understandable that people are concerned about changes, but this is about new opportunities. A lot of work is being done before the transfer and no-one will be left in the lurch.”