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The Big Skills Store
Tuesday 10th November, 2009

The Big Skills Store
Dean Claxton (on the steps) with Cllrs David Molyneux and Chris Ready, Dean's mum Kerry, and Business Moves branch manager Rachel Houghton.

Storage and recycling company Business Moves Group, based at Martland Mill in Wigan, take very seriously their responsibility for looking after other firms’ important data and documents.

But they are also serious about looking after staff. Dean Claxton, a 21 year old from Ashton, is Business Moves' man-in-the-warehouse: cleaning, making up boxes and looking after the storage facilities - good solid work.

“Dean is a valued member of the team,” says manager Rachel Houghton. “We are very happy with his work and what he brings to the team.”

What makes Dean’s position special is that he’s overcome his conditions – motor delay development and poor memory – to become an independent and confident working man. Dean has been helped by the council’s supported employment service, who have worked with Business Moves to help him into paid work there.

“This is a great place to work,” says Dean. “I fit in really well and they don’t even mind my choice of music.”

Visiting the Martland Mill firm, deputy council leader Cllr David Molyneux and Cllr Chris Ready, cabinet champion for customer care issues, met Dean and saw him at work.

Cllr Molyneux said: “At a time of economic hardship for many, it is wonderful to see a local firm seeing the benefits of working with the supported employment team. It’s a real success story all round.”

Cllr Ready was impressed with Dean’s achievements. He said: “He’s been well looked after, but has shown great determination to overcome his disabilities and now he’s emerged as a credit to himself as an active, productive member of the community.”

Without companies within the borough supporting people with disabilities to gain employment, council managers say that Dean, and many others like him, would probably be spending their time in day services.

The council’s supported employment service, based in Ince, was awarded an outstanding grade in their last Government Ofsted inspection. They are also Wigan Council's Team of the Year. They are funded by the council, the Department of Work and Pensions, the Working Neighbourhood Fund, Public Health Funds and the Learning Disability Partnership Board to work alongside borough employers. The service has over 160 people in paid employment across the borough, despite the background of the current economic downturn

Employers can contact the supported employment team if they would like to discuss taking on someone from the area on 01942 828402.

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