Lack of demand shuts up shop
PRINT STUDIO OFFERED VITAL WORK EXPERIENCE
A PRINT shop which offered work experience to people with disabilities and mental health problems has shut down.
Some customers were surprised to see Capability’s print studio on Heaton Road, Newcastle, had shut its doors.
The shop had offered work opportunities for those with learning disabilities, physical disabilities or mental health difficulties as a way to gain vital experience.
But the decision was taken to close up the shop in September and focus on the catering business next door.
The work placements will continue in the FoodWorks cafe next door with up to ten people a day gaining vital work experience.
Support and employment services manager, Steve Williamson, said: “We’re changing the service overall.
“This meant a move away from print. We’ve finally stopped operating that as a business.”
Mr Williamson said the decision had been made because the demand for print products had fallen.
Part of Newcastle City Council’s supported employment service, the shop employed two people but one left before the closure and the second was given another role.
Now the service is focusing on catering with around ten people a day working in the FoodWorks cafe next door to the print shop.
Those with learning disabilities, a physical disability or a mental health condition are offered training in the cafe to gain skills to secure a job.
Mr Williamson added: “It’s a start for somebody who has not got the skills necessary to start in employment and learn about work practice.
“We support them to get real jobs and to do placements outside the cafe.”
Despite the print shop closure, jobs have been created elsewhere in the city including at a coffee cart based in the reception area of the Civic Centre.
FoodWorks launched the cart with homelessness charity Crisis, creating two full-time jobs and one apprenticeship. All profits from the cart go back into the supported employment service to help others.
A Newcastle City Council spokesperson said: “Overall, our supported employment service has supported 157 people since April and employs 31 people, including 18 posts that are specifically for people who have significant barriers to employment or face inequalities in the workplace.”
The FoodWorks cafe on Heaton Road, Newcastle