Business

Social enterprise UShredNI to create 15 jobs after securing three-year Stormont contract

Usel set up UShredNI in January 2020.
Usel set up UShredNI in January 2020.

SOICAL enterprise UIster Supported Employment Ltd (Usel) has announced plans to create 15 jobs in its secure document shredding business, UShredNI.

The expansion follows a £317,000 three-year contract with the Northern Ireland Executive to destroy confidential documents held by Stormont departments and other key government bodies.

Usel, which supports getting disabled and disadvantaged people into work, set up UShredNI in January 2020.

The business currently employs 16 people, providing shredding services for councils, schools, banks and a range of blue-chip companies and smaller businesses.

Head of manufacturing and recycling at Usel, Scott Jackson, said the Stormont contract was its largest to date.

He said UShredNI hope to use it as a launch pad for further contracts across the public and private sectors.

“Everything we do centres around developing a greener society while at the same time creating a brighter future for people with health conditions and disabilities by providing sustainable jobs and excellent training and support,” said Mr Jackson.

“We are dedicated to recycling as much material as possible to reduce the reliance on landfill.

“One hundred per cent of the shredded documents will be sent to paper mills in Great Britain to make products such as napkins, kitchen roll and toilet paper.”

Usel chief executive, Bill Atkinson said the contract would shore up its position as a main provider of employment for people with long term health conditions and disabilities.

“We were delighted to have been awarded this contract which has allowed us to further extend our provision having been awarded several significant contracts over the year,” he said.

“This contract will allow us to secure jobs for people with disabilities or health conditions during this difficult time with the opportunity to create further jobs in the future.”

Finance Minister Conor Murphy, who recently visited the Usel manufacturing and recycling base in Belfast, said: “The awarding of this £317,000 contract will provide job security for those working within the organisation as well as potential employment opportunities for others and highlights that social enterprises have the skills and experience to deliver significant contracts to our public sector.”