Last reviewed: May 2020 | Next review: November 2022

We want people with a learning disability to have the opportunity to experience the benefits that paid employment can bring, including an increased income, improved wellbeing, and greater confidence.

We want to see a future where people with a learning disability who can work are receiving the right support, suitable to their needs, to find, access and stay in work, enabling them to fully exercise this right.

We want employers to understand that people with a learning disability make a valuable contribution to the workplace, when supported properly, just like everyone else, and we ask that society – educators, families to government- sees people with a learning disability as future apprentices and employees.

Current situation

Mencap’s 2019 Big Learning Disability Survey found 23% of working age adults (aged 18 to 64) with a learning disability have a paid job. This is compared to:

  • 53% of working age adults with any disability, and
  • 76% of working age adults (aged 16-64) in the general population in the UK.

Breaking down the employment of people with a learning disability surveyed by the level of support they need, we know that:

  • 32% of those with the lowest support needs have a paid job
  •  9% of those with medium support needs have a paid job
  •  Fewer than 5% of those with the highest support needs have a paid job

To bring about our vision, Mencap calls on the Government to address the barriers that people with a learning disability still face in accessing paid employment. The many barriers faced by people with a learning disability to access employment include:

  • a lack of good quality support to get and maintain employment
  • a lack of support to build confidence and skills
  • employers’ attitudes
  • lack of understanding as to what people with a learning disability can do with the right support.


Employment vision statement

Take a look at our employment vision statement.

There's also this easy read PDF version of the statement.

Download PDF now
Man smiling at female co-worker in office

Access all areas

Mencap believes that apprenticeships should be available to people with a learning disability.

Our latest report, Access all areas, makes some recommendations which we believe will improve access to apprenticeships.

Our recommendations are based on findings from a series of workshops we held between January and March 2019. We are now looking to Government to implement these.

You can read the full version of the report by clicking below, as well as this easy read version (PDF).

Read PDF report

What we want

We all want to get a job. Aside from the money - which gives us more  independence and choices - it's also a sign of social inclusion and being seen as a full member of society.

We know that most people with a learning disability can and want to work, as long as they are given the right support. That's why we support the Government’s aim to halve the disability employment gap and think they now needs to put together a plan to remove the barriers facing people with a learning disability in getting employment. 

For this plan to work, it must:

  1. improve the employment support for people with a learning disability, no matter where they live, and ensuring that the support is tailored to the person's needs
  2. provide support to employers to take on more people with a learning disability
  3. promote positive employer attitudes towards people with a learning disability in employment, making sure they value their work
  4. make the health and wellbeing of disabled people central to the plan
  5. make sure that the education system equips pupils with SEN with the skills to gain employment
  6. create more jobs and training opportunities for people with a learning disability, including more work experience openings and apprenticeships with availability of on-the-job support

We're working on a range of these issues, providing employment support services and working to ensure that people with a learning disability get a better deal going forward.

Young man sat on a ride-on lawnmower outside

Our employment services

Do you have a learning disability and want to find out how we can support you into finding paid work?

If so, find out about our employment services. 

Find out more

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