Date posted: 23rd June 2014
In May RPS Ltd applied to the Tees Valley Jobs and Investment Scheme which offers businesses a 12 month wage subsidy of up to 50% for new employees. The scheme was introduced after Tees Valley Unlimited (TVU) secured £7m from the Regional Growth Fund to create up to 700 jobs in the Tees Valley area.
RPS was successful in the grant application and has taken on five new employees through the scheme moving its staff from 17 to 22. The acquisition of new business led RPS to create the new roles and the Tess Valley Jobs and Investment Scheme has been a great help while these new contracts are in their infancy. Marking an important milestone it was also announced that RPS had taken on the 500th employee through the scheme.
To celebrate the 500th job being created Minister of State for Business and Energy, Michael Fallon, visited the RPS site to understand the business and how it encourages reuse and recycling of pallets and other industrial packaging. The visit also demonstrated how important grants such as the Regional Growth Fund and local champions such as TVU Managing Director Stephen Catchpole are to small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) in the region.
Commenting on the scheme, Mr Catchpole said: “The growth of SMEs is crucial to the regional economy and it is fantastic to see the wage subsidy scheme having such a positive effect on employment.
“The visit to Tees Valley by the Business and Energy Minister has allowed us to showcase how the Regional Growth Fund can help businesses of all sizes, including SMEs, which are vital to the local economy, expand and develop.”
RPS was set up in 2002 by Gary Hudson and Tim Hutchinson after a gap in the market was spotted for packaging reuse and recycling. RPS checks and assesses packaging so that it can either be reused or recycled. This helps generate substantial costs savings whilst also promoting a circular economy for the businesses involved.
The service is good news for the environment and for businesses as they can reduce their packaging costs, and it’s proving to be a winning service for RPS which now has an annual turnover of over £1.8m.
Thomas Hudson, marketing manager at RPS, said: “As an SME, this scheme helps us to grow even further by employing new staff to meet increasing demand. We were very impressed by the speed of the grant-making process.
“The money saved by having half of the salaries of the new employees paid for in the first year will allow us to purchase an additional warehouse on our site. This allows us to take on more new contracts that need internal storage and work stations, contracts that we couldn’t have taken on before the funding. This new warehouse will in turn create more local jobs and enterprise.”
With new contracts due to start over the coming months, the help of the TVU wage subsidy has undoubtedly created sustained growth for RPS helping to drive the business further forward.
Mr Fallon said: “The growth in the workforce at Returnable Packaging Services Ltd demonstrates how Government support is helping drive business and is enhancing the economic wellbeing of the Tees Valley.
“In the case of RPS Ltd, the financial assistance has made a big difference and will have a ‘multiplier effect’ by enabling the company to develop a new warehouse that in turn could lead to even further recruitment at the firm.”
For further information and to find out if your business is eligible please visit www.teesvalleyunlimited.gov.uk.