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Learning Disability Work Experience Week: Vijay's Story

21 November 2016

Vijay recently did a week of work experience with Vanquis. Find out how it went and what he’s planning to do next

Vijay Patel

My work experience placement

My work experience placement was with Vanquis bank, for 4 days starting on Tuesday 8 November.

I got the placement through the Mencap Employment Team, who I work with as a volunteer. They told me about some current placement opportunities and the chance to work with Vanquis for a week.

I was based at Vanquis’ offices at Fenchurch Street, on the 28th floor of the Walkie Talkie building. The offices were really fancy, but I didn’t have to dress up too smart - the dress code was just smart-casual.

I had a number of responsibilities, including putting documents together in a binding machine. I also had to calculate the travel costs for the Vanquis employees as they often have to travel to other locations, including Kent and Bradford. My favourite thing that I got to do was setting up refreshments for meetings. This wasn’t something that I had done before, and was one of the tasks that I really enjoyed doing. There were other things that I enjoyed too, but I think that was my favourite. I think overall my experience with Vanquis was positive, there wasn’t anything that I didn’t enjoy. It was also really good to get to know new people and find out what their jobs were, and what they have to do within their job.

Personally, I feel that there aren’t enough opportunities for people with a learning disability to find work or work experience which could lead to getting a permanent job. Someone with a learning disability might need more support during a work placement but it would be good if there were more opportunities for people with a learning disability to show what they are capable of.

My connection with Mencap

I’ve been working with Mencap for 2 years, since I became a Young Ambassador. I found out about this opportunity through my local Mencap group in Barnet. They also got me involved in a programme where I could work with different teams in the organisation, including Corporate, Campaigns, Media and Digital. I was really interested in these different teams so was glad to be involved.

My other interests

In my spare time I like take part in Fantasy Football and play football with the Mencap football team and I am a supporter of Manchester United. I also like tenpin bowling, listening to music and watching TV.

I also work one day at week at Wetherspoons on a Friday.

My future

At the end of this month I am going to do a placement with The Guardian newspaper for 1 week.

I’m interested in finding more work and more hours, as well as taking part in other work experience placements which could lead me to a permanent job. I’m interested in finding a new career and learning new things.

Support Learning Disability Work Experience Week

Help Mencap and Inclusive Employers to provide inclusive work placements for Learning Disability Work Experience Week by visiting the webpage.

Learning Disability Work Experience Week

Find out how we're working with Inclusive Employers to help improve employment opportunities for people with a learning disability - and how you can support us too

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