Finance news: Cardiff disability company wins European award

A Cardiff firm that provides training and employment for people with disabilities has been named the European Social Firm of 2005.

Pack-It Promotions beat off competition from other social firms in Austria, Slovenia, Belgium and the UK to scoop the inaugural award. Social firms are set up to proved employment for disabled people.

It was sponsored by the Confederation of European Social Firms, Employment Initiatives and Social Co-operatives.

"Considering the opposition, we were truly amazed," said John Bennett, managing director of Pack-It.

"This is an enormous boost for my colleagues and will enhance both the company's reputation as a social firm practitioner and as a business of excellence."

The company offers mailing and internet pack and despatch services to organisations including the Western Mail, the Welsh National Assembly and the Welsh Development Agency.

The criteria for the award require that a minimum of 30 per cent of a firm's workers have a disability or another disadvantage in the labour market, and that every worker is paid a market rate wage appropriate to their work, regardless of their productive capacity.

Sally Reynolds, chief executive of Social Firms UK, said: "Pack-It's success as a social firm will serve to inspire others around Europe who are striving to build better social firm businesses.

"As the national support agency for social firm development in the UK, we are delighted and proud that one of our members is able to bring recognition to the UK in this way."

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