Last reviewed: April 2016 | Next review: June 2020

Our vision is a future where people with a learning disability are receiving the right support to access and stay in work.

We want employers to know that people with a learning disability make good workers when supported properly.

We want people with a learning disability to have real jobs in the open labour market, with regular hours, and to be paid at the same rate as everyone else. Employment could be a few hours a week or full-time.

Current situation

Approximately 8 out of 10 working age people with a learning disability have a mild or moderate learning disability, but less than 2 in 10 are in employment.

When we consider people with a more severe learning disability who are known to social services’ then only 6 in 100 are in work. In comparison 49% of the wider disability community and 79% of the general population are in work. 

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 version of the statement.

Download resource Employment vision statement

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.

Read 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.

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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