Dan Scorer, Head of Policy at Mencap, said:
We agree with Rosa Monckton that current employment support for people with a learning disability is completely inadequate, and the government has to go much further than the proposals outlined in its recent consultation on supporting more disabled people into work if we are to improve the appallingly low levels of employment experienced by people with a learning disability.
However, our experience from supporting thousands of people with a learning disability into work with hundreds of employers, is that the minimum or living wage is not the main barrier to people with a learning disability entering work. Educating and working with employers to create the right roles is the most important factor in getting more people with a learning disability into work. We believe that with the right training and support people with a learning disability can be valued employees whose work is of the same value as anyone else.
Mencap's chief executive Jan Tregelles also wrote a letter to editor to The Times, which can be read here.
Notes to editors
There are 1.5 million people with a learning disability in the UK. Mencap works to support people with a learning disability, their families and carers by fighting to change laws, improve services and access to education, employment and leisure facilities. Mencap supports thousands of people with a learning disability to live their lives the way they want.
For advice and information about learning disability and Mencap services in your area, contact the Learning Disability Helpline on 0808 808 1111 (9am-5pm, Monday-Friday) or email email@example.com.
What is a learning disability?
A learning disability is a reduced intellectual ability which can cause problems with everyday tasks – for example shopping and cooking, or travelling to new places – which affects someone for their whole life.
People with a learning disability can take longer to learn new things and may need support to develop new skills, understand difficult information and engage with other people. The level of support someone needs is different with every individual. For example, someone with a severe learning disability might need much more support with daily tasks than someone with a mild learning disability.
Learning disability is not a mental illness or a learning difficulty. Very often the term ‘learning difficulty’ is wrongly used interchangeably with ‘learning disability’.