Mark Capper, Head of Development in the Lifestyles & Work team at the learning disability charity Mencap, said:
“This falling employment rate is really worrying – and with talk of rising unemployment across the board – we are concerned if people with a learning disability who are in employment will be supported to keep their jobs. Employers say that people with a learning disability make fantastic employees.
“However, this figure relates only to people with a learning disability who are known to their Local Authority. Our research suggests that employment rates are higher, but still much, much lower than the general population or other disabled people. As part of its forthcoming disability strategy, we would like the Government to improve its data collection so we have a clearer picture and can target support to get more people into work.”
The NHS Digital Data is available here.
For further information or to arrange an interview with a Mencap spokesperson or case study, please contact Mencap’s media team on: firstname.lastname@example.org or 020 7696 5414 (including out of hours).
Notes to editors
There are approximately 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 Mencap’s Freephone Learning Disability Helpline on 0808 808 1111 (10am-3pm, 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;
- Learning disability is not a mental illness or a learning difficulty, such as dyslexia. Very often the term ‘learning difficulty’ is wrongly used interchangeably with ‘learning disability’;
- 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.