Portland Charity has operated a small print shop, Portland Print, on campus for many years, offering printing and finishing services to businesses and community groups. 

With the increase in digital media, the demand for this service has reduced and rather than generating funds for our charity it now costs us to operate the print shop. We have therefore made the decision to close Portland Print from 19th August to make way for a brand-new Adult Learning Centre that will enable more people with disabilities to participate in our specialist programmes.  We will not take any new orders after 3rd August. 

To support Portland Print customers with their future printing needs, there is a list of recommended alternative providers available on our website – www.portlandprint.org.uk.

We first opened the Sheltered Workshop Portshel Industries in 1961 to provide a range of work opportunities for people with disabilities. In 1991, Portshel Industries was extended and Portland Print was introduced. At its peak, Portshel Industries employed around 20 disabled people. The 3 remaining staff have all been offered redeployment or redundancy in line with their wishes.

The need for sheltered workshops such as Portshel Industries has decreased over the years.  Since the introduction of the Disability Discrimination Act in 1995 and the Equality Act in 2010, workplaces have become more accessible with more opportunities available for disabled people. 

Today at Portland, 15% (65 people) of our workforce declare that they are living with a disability, while another 30% have chosen not to answer this question, meaning the number of disabled employees at Portland is likely to be even higher. 

Mark Dale, Principal and CEO of Portland Charity commented, “I want to thank our loyal customers for their support and our fantastic team who have delivered an exceptional print service. Since opening in 1961, Portshel Industries has supported our mission to provide more job opportunities for disabled people.  

As a Disability Confident Employer, we actively encourage applications from disabled people for all our roles.  We are proud to employ a diverse workforce in an accessible workplace, leading the way in our region for disability employment. By raising awareness, sharing best practice and through our Portland Pathways employment programme, we continue our vital work to help reduce the disability employment gap locally and nationally.”

Our quadruple-award-winning Portland Pathways service offers a range of free services to individuals and businesses to help bridge the disability employment gap. 

As well as supporting with recruitment, we can help businesses to apply for Access to Work funding to become more accessible and we can support with applications to the Disability Confident Employer scheme.

To find out more about Portland Pathways, visit our website or contact our friendly team on 01623 499193.

For more information about our new Adult Learning Centre or the closure of Portland Print, please email Edward Johnstone, Assistant Principal – Development at edwardjohnstone@portland.ac.uk

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