Around 6% of people with a learning disability are in paid employment, despite more than 60% being willing and able to work.
 
If you're an employer, you could help someone take their first steps on the road to securing a job. 
 
If you're interested in providing an accessible work placement for someone with a learning disability, please read the answers to our frequently asked questions and get in touch.

Why should I offer work experience to people with a learning disability?

People with a learning disability can make excellent employees, and getting a paid job can make a huge difference to their confidence, independence and future aspirations. 60% of people with a learning disability want to be in work, and a supportive work experience placement could be their crucial first step towards getting a job that could change their lives.

As well as helping people with a learning disability gain the skills for employment in the future, you’ll also experience all the benefits of a new and enthusiastic team member. In a study of 261 employers, supervisors rating the overall work performance of workers with and without a learning disability saw no difference in their quality of output.

Having someone with a learning disability on your team can also boost staff morale, as well as increasing diversity in the workplace and helping your company to maintain a positive reputation for corporate social responsibility.
 

How can my company help?

We want to see a world where people with a learning disability being in work is the norm. More than just a job, being in paid work enables people to live more independent lives and be more involved in the decisions that affect them.

There are lots of reasons why people with a learning disability can face major challenges to finding paid work. Some of the ways we can overcome these include:

  • increasing understanding about learning disability among employers and in the workplace
  • creating opportunities for people to learn new skills in a real work environment
  • raising awareness that people with a learning disability can and do make great employees
  • making reasonable adjustments to application processes and work environments to make them more accessible. 

We know from experience that by giving employers first-hand experience of the benefits of working alongside a person with a learning disability, the barriers start to come down. To hear other employers’ experiences of offering work placements to people with a learning disability, visit our Who We Work With page.  

If your organisation is interested in finding out more, please contact our helpline so we can set up an initial conversation.

How can I find out more?

If you'd like to know more please call our helpline on 0808 808 1111 and we can set up a conversation.

Alternatively please email Paul Winter for more information about placements.

What support can you offer my company?

If you call the helpline, we can talk through the process of setting up a placement with you. We don’t expect you to do anything that you’re not comfortable with. Mencap can offer Learning Disability Awareness training to teams/companies and will find out as much as possible about your company and the potential opportunities to ensure we can match the right person to the right opportunity.
 
We can also provide staff support to help the person on a placement to learn their role so there is no additional training burden on the employer.
 

What is Learning Disability Work Week?

Every November, we celebrate Learning Disability Work Week. The aim of the week is to show that people with a learning disability make great employees, and help to break down the barriers preventing people with a learning disability from accessing paid work.
 
As part of Learning Disability Work Week, we encourage employers, employees and people with a learning disability to share their stories about people with a learning disability and work. Are you a person with a learning disability who has a job, or a member of staff that has supported someone with a learning disability to find work? Maybe you’ve done work experience and it’s really helped you to feel more confident or perhaps you are an employer and you want to tell us how great it is to have employees with a learning disability?

We want to hear your stories, so get in touch on our social media channels, or share your story on our Online Community.

I’m interested in offering a work placement, but not during Learning Disability Work Week?

That’s great! We encourage employers to offer placements all year round, not just during the awareness week. If you'd like to know more please call our helpline on 0808 808 1111 and we can set up a conversation.

 

Alternatively please email Paul Winter for more information about placements.

Does a placement have to be a week long?

No. We ask for a minimum commitment of a week from employers but we want the placements to work for all concerned. Many people with a learning disability won’t want a full time placement, so it could be a set number of hours during a week or a slightly longer placement over a few weeks according to circumstances of the person and the employer.

Unless the placement were to form part of a study programme we would not expect placements to last more than a few weeks at most.

Download our Good For Business brochure

Find out more about the benefits of employing people with a learning disability

Download resource Good For Business brochure

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