Inclusive Employers members across various sectors have signed up to offer work experience through the programme, which aims to improve the employment chances of people with a learning disability, as well as raise awareness of the benefits for businesses in thinking differently about who they recruit.
Only seven per cent of people with a learning disability are currently working in paid employment, despite the UK’s unemployment rate being less than eight per cent, according to the latest data from the Office for National Statistics.
Participants in the week include the House of Commons, Hampshire Fire and Rescue Service, Enterprise Rent-A-Car, South West Trains, Anglia Ruskin University, Strudel and McDonald’s UK.
Richard McKenna of Inclusive Employers said: “Our members have inclusion hardwired into their thinking and approaches. Inclusive Employers’ initiatives like Learning Disabilities Work Experience Week give our members new perspectives on inclusion and opportunities to harness different talent, strengthen teams and create opportunities for people who are often excluded from workplaces. Working with our member and partner Mencap, we have developed this initiative with the intention of breaking down barriers and creating cultures where all people are valued and all people can add value.”
He added: “As the UK’s leading membership organisation on inclusion, we continue to champion inclusion in a creative and commercially focused way.”
Research shows people with a learning disability stay in jobs longer and are more reliable. They are proven to have low sickness rates and higher job satisfaction levels. Employing a person with a learning disability has been shown to offer a potential saving of £2,000, based on sickness/absence cover and recruitment costs. Many people with a learning disability are able to work and keen to do so.