Employees axed at Jobs, Friends and Houses as part of controversial firm is closed

Jobs, Friends and Houses was set up in 2014
Jobs, Friends and Houses was set up in 2014
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Apprentices and tradesmen have been left fearing for their future after the decision was taken to shut down another branch of controversial firm Jobs, Friends and Houses.

The community interest company was set up in 2014 to help rehabilitate offenders with a steady job and training.

The Gazette understand that 10 staff have been axed by the firm, including all remaining tradesmen and apprentices.

They were called in and given the news by company directors on Friday.

The firm, which won national plaudits for its vision when founded, will continue to operate as a residential rehabilitation provider.

In a statement released through Lancashire Police which, along with Blackpool Council, now controls the company, Jobs Friends and Houses said the job losses were essential to keep the company going.

A spokesman said: “The core idea of Jobs, Friends and Houses is good for the community, helping local people to overcome addiction and get in to work.

“Both the police and the council are keen for that good work to continue but in order to do that we need to make sure that the company operates within its means.

“That involves closing the construction arm and focusing on what the company does really well.

“ Models like this work well in other areas of the country and we have received good feedback that this is the right way forward from funders at the Big Lottery Fund, who continue to support and fund the company.

“The future for the company can be positive, as its successes can reduce crime and change people’s lifestyles for the better but it is important to get it on the right footing to progress.”

Lancashire Police was not able to confirm how many jobs had been lost, how many staff remained with the company.

The force declined to answer a number of questions put forward by The Gazette about JFH operations.

Earlier this year JFH was given £200,000 by Lancashire Police and a further loan of £100,000 from Blackpool Council for ‘cashflow’ purposes.

Lancashire Police Director of Resources Ian Cosh resigned as a director of JFH on April 6.

The remaining directors are Chief Superintendent Stuart Noble, Blackpool Council boss Neil Jack, Blackpool’s public health cheif Arif Rajpura and Blackpool Council head of governance Mark Towers.