1 in 50 people in the UK have a learning disability; just 6% of those known to local authorities and able to work are in employment. With the right support, people with a learning disability can achieve long-term paid employment with progression opportunities, become more independent and live fulfilling, happy lives.
Mencap have carried out extensive research and a national campaign to work with employers to help to engage with employing staff with additional needs. Project Search, Bath City Farm and SWAN work in Bath and NE Somerset to provide training and work-based experience to people over 18 with special needs. As a school working with parents, carers and support workers we see a need for more school based work experience to prepare our pupils for life after school.
It can be challenging to find work placements for pupils with special needs. Work places are often concerned that pupils will need extra support and supervision. In a market where personnel are often over stretched and where health and safety considerations are at the fore, this can sometimes make employers question the viability of work experience.
With the support and skills of a jobs coach to develop links with employers we hope to break down these barriers and create better opportunities for these pupils in the future.