A Falkirk factory is leading the way in helping disabled people into work.
The public sector will buy more goods and services from supported businesses – those where more than 50 per cent of the workforce have a disability making them unable to take up a job in the open market.
Now a new framework contract will make it easier for Scotland’s public bodies to buy from these businesses.
And the first to be used by the Scottish Government is the Bainsford-based Sign Factory.
Set up in 1971, it manufactures and supplies signs to both public and commercial organisations: everything from pavement A-boards to doorplates, pop-ups to street signs.
Its production facility in Burnbank Road offers screen printing, digital printing, engraving, digitally cut and fabricated metal, plastic and wooden signs.
Welcoming the new framework contract, Nicola Sturgeon, Cabinet Secretary for Infrastructure, Investment and Cities, said: “This is a fine example of how the way in which the public sector buys goods and services can boost our economy and get people into work.
“It is also a tribute to the supported businesses themselves, which have successfully bid to be part of this arrangement.
“This is a great opportunity for these businesses to grow at a time when the supported business sector is facing significant challenges.”
Sandra Murphy, the Sign Factory’s sales and marketing manager, said: “We have always been about working with our customers to deliver absolute quality with complete integrity. With this new framework, we have an exciting new opportunity to do this and we’re very much looking forward to working with our new customers to demonstrate what we can do as a service provider.”
Alistair Kerr, director of British Association for Supported Employment (Base Scotland), said: “We are delighted with this news and look forward to the opportunities this opens up for supported businesses. Our UK chairwoman, Jane Collinson, has described this framework as a groundbreaking move which should be used as a blueprint elsewhere in the UK.”