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Apprenticeships provide employment boost for people with a learning disability


Mencap used Learning Disability Week in June to highlight the low levels of people with a learning disability in paid work and the need for employers to open up their recruitment practices. Latest statistics show that there are less than 6% of adults with a learning disability known to social services are in paid employment.


People with a learning disability face many barriers when trying to find work, including:


• Complicated application forms • Negative employer attitudes • Regimented interview processes


• Lack of on-the-job training and recruitment opportunities


As part of the Government’s plans to make apprenticeships accessible, Mencap is welcoming plans to change the English and Maths requirements for people with a learning disability who have education, health and care plans. By ensuring people with a learning disability are able to access Apprenticeships, it will provide a route in to work better suited to people with a learning disability where they can demonstrate their skills. Apprenticeships are a valued route in to employment, but less than 1% of apprentices declared a moderate learning disability in 2014/153. This is despite the fact that young people with a mild or moderate learning disability could and should benefit from an Apprenticeship. Following a taskforce in 2016, led by Paul Maynard, which examined the issues faced by people with disabilities to access


apprenticeships, the government is now pressing ahead to implement all the recommendations. Jan Tregelles, chief executive of learning disability charity Mencap, said: “The introduction of these plans is a welcome


recognition from Government that people with a learning disability cannot be left behind when accessing such a vital and valuable route into work as an Apprenticeship. “Lowering the Maths and English requirement for people with a learning disability on Apprenticeships could allow a whole new generation to experience the pride, joy and independence that employment can offer - something that just 5.8% of people with a learning disability currently do. “We want to see the changes apply to all people with a learning disability, not just those with Education, Health and Care Plans, and look forward to working with Government to introduce this.”


For advice and information about learning disability and Mencap services in your area, contact Mencap Direct on 0808 808 1111 (9am-5pm, Monday-Friday) or email help@mencap.org.uk


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