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Welsh Government’s Better Jobs Closer to Home scheme supports social enterprise's specialist disposal service.

First published:
12 May 2020
Last updated:

ELITE Paper Solutions (EPS) in Merthyr Tydfil is a social enterprise that offers a specialist disposal service to organisations across Wales, helping them dispose of their confidential waste through document destruction, archive storage and document scanning services.

Founded in 2015, EPS, which aims to create opportunities for people locally, was part of the 4th pilot for the Welsh Government’s Better Jobs Closer to Home pilot, receiving £33,000 worth of support for a high-volume shredder and compactor. This investment allowed for more tonnage to be sorted, creating further opportunities for jobs as a result of the additional resource needed to deal with the increased volumes of waste to be processed.

EPS offers competitive rates to encourage businesses to procure locally, which in turn helps create new jobs. The company is now able to recycle 100% of the waste it disposes of, providing local businesses with a sustainable solution to disposing of their confidential waste by reducing the amount going into landfills.

EPS acts as a stepping stone for individuals with disabilities or from disadvantaged backgrounds, offering opportunities to gain valuable skills and work experience to help them progress to permanent employment. EPS has helped 250 individuals into work or vocational opportunities, either through permanent roles within the company or at other businesses in the local area. Each employee receives tailored support and guidance to help overcome the specific challenges they face finding employment and build the confidence and skills they need to become engaged members of their community.

Alan Meredith, 64 from Merthyr Tydfil, joined EPS on a work placement in 2016 after being unemployed for 3 years. Alan said:

“Over the years I’ve done a bit of everything – I’ve worked in engineering firms, for washing machine manufacturers and as a paint sprayer – but as I got older it became more difficult to find work.

“4 or 5 years ago I was really struggling to find a job, there weren’t many roles in Merthyr. When I did apply for jobs, I was told I didn’t have the right experience or that I was too old. When I heard about the role at EPS through the Job Centre it sounded like the perfect opportunity. They valued my experience, and they didn’t mind that I was over 60. When I started, I was just happy to be getting out of the house.

“Over the years I’ve worked in document sorting, been on the machines and at the moment I’m in the scanning room. Besides helping to pay the bills, having this job means I’m able to treat myself and go and see musicals in London with my friends and family again. I like that every day is different and the people I work with are great. EPS is the best job I’ve ever had – and I’ve had a few.”

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