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30 April 2009
Shaw Trust has swallowed Employment Opportunities, a fellow charity which helps disabled people into work, in another sign that times are getting hard for welfare-to-work providers.

Employment Opportunities websiteEmployment Opportunities employs 90 people and has a turnover of just £4.5 million, compared to Shaw trust’s 1,400 employees and £73 million turnover.  The new merged charity will still be called the Shaw Trust, with Employment Opportunities losing its identity entirely.

Karin Pappenheim, Employment Opportunities CEO commented:

“Our organisations have worked closely together for many years and the merger is a natural extension of that partnership. By combining our talents and resources, we aim to do even more for the clients who need our services.”

In reality, it seems highly unlikely that this merger would have happened unless the credit crunch was having an effect on the financial viability of welfare-to-work providers – especially the smaller ones.  But even the creation of a ‘super-trust’ may not protect the voluntary sector from being decimated by the continuing skyrocketing of unemployment statistics.

It is understood that no plans to make staff of either organisation redundant have been announced as yet.

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