Remploy staff given hope with retail jobs in Capital

The opening of the new-look Sainsbury's at Cameron Toll. Picture: Chris Watt
The opening of the new-look Sainsbury's at Cameron Toll. Picture: Chris Watt
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ONE of the Capital’s biggest employers has taken on 25 former Remploy staff at its newly refurbished store.

Sainsbury’s has reopened its Cameron Toll branch following an extensive fit out and the addition of a new cafe ahead of the Christmas rush.

In total 86 new full and part-time jobs have been created with a large number of positions being filled by ex Remploy staff while the remainder have gone to those out of work and recent school leavers.

And in a further boost to the jobs market the retailer has also signed up to the ­Edinburgh Guarantee – a programme which offers job and training opportunities for youngsters.

The Department of Work and Pensions closed the Remploy site in South Gyle with the loss of all 28 jobs in 2012.

News of this latest jobs boost in the run up to the festive season has been welcomed by Edinburgh Southern MSP Jim Eadie, who said: “It is great to see a further increase in employment at Sainsbury’s Cameron Toll, especially as this will benefit 86 people including 25 former Remploy staff.” He added: “I am particularly pleased that Sainsbury’s has signed up to the Edinburgh Guarantee, supporting school leavers in Edinburgh through skills development and ­training.”

In August the Sainsbury’s store at Longstone took on 19 school leavers and announced it will work with five secondaries, Tynecastle, Currie, Firhill, Balerno and Forrester.

Pupils will be given the type of leadership courses ­Sainsbury’s provides to develop its managers.

The scheme comes as ­statistics show more than 500 young people who leave school in the Capital each year face joblessness.

Since the beginning of the economic downturn in 2008, the number of school leavers without employment or further education has risen from 4 per cent to 16 per cent.

However, many employers are keen to play their part by backing the council-led scheme.

Store manager David Bainbridge said: “I am thrilled to be welcome 86 new colleagues to the team.

“These new full and part-time positions should give an employment boost to the local area, with the store working closely with both Remploy and Ingeus to fill many of these roles.

“I look forward to welcoming customers back into the Cameron Toll store which will provide even more choice for people doing their Christmas shopping at Sainsbury’s.”

To mark the Cameron Toll reopening the retailer also handed over a £2000 cheque to its local charity of the year the Bethany Trust.

This money will be allocated towards the homeless charity’s front-line winter services in particular the Edinburgh ­Winter Care Shelter which provides overnight accommodation for rough sleepers and is hosted in a different city church each night.

david.oleary@edinburghnews.com