Edel Harris, Chief Executive of the learning disability charity Mencap, said:

“Many people with a learning disability can work and want to work. With the right support they can also make fantastic employees. However – as this report highlights - the Government needs to do far more to open up opportunities for people with a learning disability to get into employment. 

“Many disabled people face huge barriers in finding a job, something that can be even worse for people with a learning disability. Research suggests that employment rates for people with a learning disability are much, much lower than the general population or other disabled people - yet including people with different experiences and skills will only enhance businesses and their offer. 

“We welcome this report and want to see action from Government on the recommendations the Committee has set out, particularly on areas like localised employment support and reforming current assessments. People with a learning disability must not be left behind.”


For further information or to arrange an interview with a Mencap spokesperson or case study, please contact Mencap’s media team on: media@mencap.org.uk or 020 7696 5414 (including out of hours).         

Notes to editors:   

About Mencap     

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: www.mencap.org.uk     

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 helpline@mencap.org.uk.         

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.