Former Conservative leader Iain Duncan Smith said a social enterprise in Northampton was one of the “best examples” of an organisation that helped get ex-criminals and the long-term unemployed back into work.
The Minister for Work and Pensions, along with Conservative MP for Northampton North Michael Ellis, was given a tour of Goodwill Solutions in Moulton Park, on Thursday.
Goodwill Solutions is a Community Interest Company (CIC) that aims to help the local community by running projects such as the Back to Work programme, training ex-offenders, armed service personnel, former homeless and the long-term unemployed for employment in the logistics sector.
The company currently employs 40 people and has a 70 per cent success rate of keeping people in employment.
Mr Duncan Smith said he was hugely impressed with the work the company, set up by managing director Mike Brittan, was doing to get people back into work and said he would be inviting the Prime Minister to come and see it.
He said: “This is one of the best examples of a business mixed with a social enterprise I have seen in the country.
“It is a great example of what I want to achieve with my welfare reforms. I will be inviting the Prime Minister to come and see the work here.”
Mr Ellis, who has been a supporter of Goodwill Solutions since it was set up six years ago, said it was saving the taxpayer millions of pounds.
He said: “This is a really excellent example of social action at work. This company is having major benefits for society as it is keeping people off benefits and generating income tax revenue.
“It has a multi-million turnover but there are no shareholders and all the profits are put back into the business or other back to work programmes.”