Posted: Thu 7th Apr 2016

Expanding Business Extends Training For Disadvantaged People /
This article is old - Published: Thursday, Apr 7th, 2016

A confidential waste disposal company employing disabled and disadvantaged people is expanding its business with the help of a £5,000 grant from the Ffos-y-Fran Community Benefit Fund. ‌​‌​‌​​​‍‌​‌​​‌‌‌‍‌​‌‌​​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌‌​​

ELITE Paper Solutions now offers a specialist industrial scanning service and also stores documents for clients at its Merthyr Tydfil Industrial Park factory. ‌​‌​‌​​​‍‌​‌​​‌‌‌‍‌​‌‌​​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌‌​​

The social enterprise was established by ELITE Supported Employment Agency, a charity working with disabled and disadvantaged people across South and West Wales and funded by local authorities including Merthyr Tydfil County Borough Council and the European Social Fund (Wales). ‌​‌​‌​​​‍‌​‌​​‌‌‌‍‌​‌‌​​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌‌​​

The agency offers paid employment, job tasters and work experience, supporting hundreds of people every year with vocational opportunities, training and employment through to independence. ‌​‌​‌​​​‍‌​‌​​‌‌‌‍‌​‌‌​​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌‌​​

The Ffos-y-Fran award has helped fund the lease of scanners and purchase of computer equipment, shelving and office furniture. It will allow ELITE to extend trading and training and give additional skills to staff and volunteers in IT. ‌​‌​‌​​​‍‌​‌​​‌‌‌‍‌​‌‌​​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌‌​​

“Industrial scanning is used by companies to either modernise their storage or archive systems, or to simply reduce the document storage at their sites and keep their paper records in an automated format,” said ELITE Chief Executive Officer Andrea Wayman. ‌​‌​‌​​​‍‌​‌​​‌‌‌‍‌​‌‌​​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌‌​​

She added that it was more cost-effective than handling scanning in-house, and that the company was able to process from as few as 1,000 images. “We’ve identified a gap in the market here, as companies who usually provide this type of service don’t consider contracts of less than 30,000 images.” ‌​‌​‌​​​‍‌​‌​​‌‌‌‍‌​‌‌​​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌‌​​

Since opening in early March 2015, ELITE has created 46 opportunities forrecycling operatives, drivers, a clerical assistant and cleaner. It has also progressed four candidates to employment in the community, releasing four posts for new candidates, and given new training and volunteering opportunities to a further six people. Jobs have been provided both to young people as their introduction to the workplace, and to older people up to the age of 60-plus. ‌​‌​‌​​​‍‌​‌​​‌‌‌‍‌​‌‌​​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌‌​​

To date, ELITE recycled more than 100 tonnesof paper, helping many businesses reduce their carbon footprint. “The scanning will also feed our storage business, as the documentation may need longer term storage after scanning,” said Andrea. “Where documents can be destructed and recycled, this will need the services of the shredding element of the business.” ‌​‌​‌​​​‍‌​‌​​‌‌‌‍‌​‌‌​​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌‌​​

The Ffos-y-fran Community Benefit Fund was established by local mining company Miller Argent, which donates £1 for every ton of coal sold from the Ffos-y-fran land reclamation scheme. More than £5m has been awarded to a wide range of groups and causes since the site opened in 2007. ‌​‌​‌​​​‍‌​‌​​‌‌‌‍‌​‌‌​​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌‌​​

Miller Argent Managing Director Neil Brown said: “ELITE Paper Solutions is not only offering a niche service for local businesses, but also providing jobs that are fully inclusive for people with disabilities and those at disadvantage. We are delighted that this project has been able to benefit from the Ffos-y-fran Community Benefit fund.” ‌​‌​‌​​​‍‌​‌​​‌‌‌‍‌​‌‌​​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌‌​​

The Ffos-y-fran Community Benefit Fund supports local community projects with an educational, environmental or leisure emphasis. Intermediate grants are for revenue/capital costs and awarded up to a maximum of £5,000. ‌​‌​‌​​​‍‌​‌​​‌‌‌‍‌​‌‌​​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌‌​​

The closing date for applications from the next round of awards is 31 March, 2016. Application forms are available by emailing; tel 01685 725289. ‌​‌​‌​​​‍‌​‌​​‌‌‌‍‌​‌‌​​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌‌​​

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