Colebridge Enterprises — Assembly Operation

L-to-R (back): Dave Pinwell (Colebridge Trust), Tina Williams & Charles Rapson (Colebridge Enterprises), Tom McNeil (ex-parliamentary candidate and charity lawyer), Melanie Mills (Big Society Capital); front: Hazel Blears MP, Chris Holmes (Colebridge Enterprises)

Adults with learning disabilities who previously went to a day care centre in Chelmsley Wood to gain work experience and training now have paid jobs at Colebridge Enterprises.

The Colebridge Enterprises assembly operation assembles and packs components for customers in the automotive supply chain and other companies. Since its workers started in late 2013 they have processed almost 5 million parts, and the business currently has orders running at about 2 million parts a year. It employs over a dozen people and runs apprenticeship schemes for young unemployed people; half the labour force has a learning disability.

The assembly operation is the result Charles Rapson (pictured), now a Board member, meeting an automotive supplier on the Goldman Sachs 10,000 Small Businesses Growth Programme at Aston Business School.

“Before we started this business,” says Charles, “there were three questions we needed to answer. One, could we do the volume of parts needed to make it viable? Two, could we meet the quality standards our customer needed? And three — and most importantly — would our clients enjoy the work?”

The answer to all three questions was a resounding yes.

Colebridge Enterprises is demonstrating that people with learning disabilities and others that society had pretty much written off are at least as productive as anyone else. “Every one of those 5 million parts has been delivered on time and the quality is spot on. As one customer put it, ‘We’re delighted with the work that Colebridge Enterprises does for us. We are pleasantly surprised with how capable and productive they are and we have no complaints about the quality of parts returned to us. It’s at least as good as any other supplier we use.’”

You only have to visit their unit to see and hear how happy the workforce is. Visitors are welcome. Pre-booking essential.

For more information about Colebridge Enterprises send mail to Dave Pinwell or call 0121 770 7555.

Colebridge Enterprises Assembly Operation brochure.