Usel scoops £317,000 document shredding contract

Leading social enterprise UIster Supported Employment Ltd (Usel) is planning to create 15 green jobs in its secure document shredding business, UShredNI.

By Claire Cartmill
Wednesday, 26th May 2021, 2:00 pm
Finance Minister Conor Murphy with Usel Chief Executive Bill Atkinson and Chairman William Leathem
Finance Minister Conor Murphy with Usel Chief Executive Bill Atkinson and Chairman William Leathem

This follows the securing of a major, three-year £317,000 contract from the NI Executive to destroy confidential documents held by Stormont Departments and other key Government bodies.

The company, which has implemented the strictest industry compliance and security measures, is one of the first to win NI Government tender opportunities reserved for organisations dedicated to supporting disabled and disadvantaged people in the workforce.

UShredNI which was formed in January 2020, currently employs 16 people in a state-of-the-art operation that disposes of confidential material in a secure environment and recycles it in line with Usel’s commitment to green principles and the Circular Economy.

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Scott Jackson, the Head of Manufacturing and Recycling at Usel said: This was the largest contract that UShredNI had secured to date and saw it as a launching pad to win more contracts in the public and private sectors. It already provides shredding services for councils, schools, banks and a range of blue-chip companies and smaller businesses and as UShredNI continues to grow over the next two years, it will create new jobs for people with disabilities.

“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. We are dedicated to recycling as much material as possible to reduce the reliance on landfill. 100% of the shredded documents will be sent to paper mills in GB 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.

He explained: “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. 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 recently visited the Usel manufacturing and recycling base in Belfast to view its operations.

He added: “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.

“The company runs a highly successful manufacturing, recycling and employability business and is in partnership with organisations to provide support to get people back into employment, operating a range of training programmes that assists people with disabilities to gain the qualifications and skills required for sustainable employment.”

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