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Former Remploy workers look to the future at DiamondPak

A former Remploy worker who offered a ‘lifeline’ to his former co-workers by finding them employment at packaging manufacturer DiamondPak has been promoted to the company’s management team.

Henry Booth, a 54-year-old father of four, has recently become engineering manager for the Pontypool-based company.

Mr Booth, who worked at the Remploy factory in Croespenmaen factory for 12 years, joined DiamondPak in October 2012 taking the post of maintenance technician.

At his interview he also persuaded the company to take on several of his former Remploy colleagues.

Russell Davies, MD at corrugated packaging manufacturer DiamondPak, said the staff had become an integral part of the company’s success story.

Mr Davies explained: “The nature of the work at Croespenmaen was similar to what we do here at DiamondPak and when we were approached by the Welsh Assembly to ask if we had suitable positions, we needed a maintenance technician.

“We took on Henry and haven’t looked back. He’s been a tremendous asset to the team and was instrumental in bringing other workers from Croespenmaen to DiamondPak.”

In total there are seven workers at the factory who were recommended by Mr Booth.

“I was very lucky in the sense that I finished work at Remploy on the Friday and started at DiamondPak on the following Monday,” Mr Booth said. “It was a lifeline at the time and has been a good move for me.

“I was even more delighted that I could offer that lifeline to other workers from Croespenmaen who could fill positions here.”

All eight members of staff were taken on through the Welsh Government’s Employer Support Grant, which contributed to their wages and training costs for three years.

Mr Booth said that he is very aware that others from the Remploy factory were not as fortunate.

“There are people that I worked with and see occasionally who are still looking for work, and that is very hard,” he added.

As engineering manager Mr Booth looks after a total of 35 machines, heading up a four-strong team.

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