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Shelforce is a Supported Business dedicated to the support of disabled people looking to enter employment, currently there are around 80 people employed within its factory, located in Erdington. The business runs like any commercial operation, it has to sell the products it produces to survive. Where Shelforce differs is that it actively recruits and supports severely disabled people, both within Shelforce's own factory, and other businesses in the wider community.

Shelforce produces PVC-u windows and doors. The business invests heavily in Training and Development; over 90% of the employees have or are working towards an NVQ qualification, and this opportunity is also offered to those employees that Shelforce supports in external businesses. Shelforce's Centre of Excellence training facility called the ALEproject,offers training in the installation and survey of windows and doors to disadvantaged groups looking to break into the building industry.

Telephone: 0121 603 5262
Email: Howard.C.Trotter@birmingham.gov.uk

Sadiq, known to everyone as Sid, has worked at Shelforce for a number of years, and is very experienced in window manufacture, from welding and cutting, to operating a saw gasket. He said: "I have received some excellent on the job training, to enable me to carry out the different jobs. It's a good place to work."

Robert Chiles, Sid's supervisor, said: "Sid is fine to work with, and fits in well with our other employees. We employ 58 people with disabilities, and as a supported factory we need to operate at an economic cost in order to continue to provide support to our employees. To do this we try operating like any other commercial business and using best practice principles in all we do. The subsidies and support provided by Workstep have been a big help.

"We now concentrate solely on the manufacture of PVC-u windows, which has proven to be very successful - we are aiming for a million plus turnover this year.

"We have established a skills matrix at Shelforce, which means that employees can train each other in different aspects of the job, and this has helped contribute to efficiency."

Outside work Sid is a great reader, enjoying books on history, politics and science, and has ambitions to be a writer himself one day.

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 Last Updated : 4th November 2013