Registered charity Mencap is trying to encourage employers to make use of apprenticeships to boost levels of employment for potential employees with learning disabilities.
Mencap says that research from the Health and Social Care Information Centre show that fewer than 6 per cent of adults with a recognised learning disability are in paid employment, and that people with these disabilities are up against various barriers when seeking work. These barriers include complex application forms; negative attitudes from employers and rigid interview processes that don’t allow any flexibility.
Lack of Training for Learning Disabilities Apprentices
Even when people with learning disabilities do make it into employment, they regularly face a lack of training and onward opportunities, according to Mencap.
Last year the Government announced a reduction of the minimum requirements for maths and English standards to make it easier for people with learning disabilities to pursue certain apprenticeships.
According to Mencap, ‘By ensuring people with a learning disability are able to access apprenticeships, it will provide a route into work better suited to people with a learning disability where they can demonstrate their skills’.
According to Government data, during the period 2014-2015, fewer than 1 per cent of apprentices declared a moderate learning disability.
Plans set to Ease the Route in Apprentices with Learning Disabilities
Chief executive of Mencap Jan Tregelles, said: ‘The introduction of these plans are 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.’
Furthermore, Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, David Gauke, added: ‘People with a learning disability deserve the same opportunities that others have in every aspect of their lives, including in the workplace. Almost 600,000 disabled people have entered work in the last three years, and we must build on this progress.’
Apprenticeships should act as a valuable route into employment for those with learning disabilities, who have an incredible amount to offer in many ways.
For more information about taking on an apprentice, speak to your local bookkeepers.