Learning Disability Week runs from 20th 26th June in the UK and is an annual campaign run by Mencap to raise awareness about what life is like for people with learning disability. The theme for this year aims to explore the issues caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, like mental health and anxiety.

Mencap state that there are 1.5 million people with a learning disability in the UK, approximately 1.3 million of whom live in England. There are approximately 732,000 adults of working age with a learning disability in England, but only 5.1% of adults with a learning disability are in paid work, according to the NHS Digital report 2021.

We know that people with a learning disability make fantastic employees. Research from Mencap suggests employees with a learning disability have less sick days, better timekeeping with great productivity and commitment levels.

Seetec Pluss are proud to support people with learning disabilities to get the skills and confidence they need to find suitable jobs, fill local vacancies, and build sustainable careers.

Christopher joined the Work and Health programme after living in Devon for 14 years. He was in temporary work, however struggled to sustain long-term employment. At the Job centre, Chris’s work coach helped him look for jobs, tailored his CV and set up his emails. He faced difficulty and was introduced to his Work and Health Employment Coach Anthony. With Anthony they looked at roles in more detail and considered other environments that were more supportive and understanding of his needs.

Following his application for a cleaning role in a local care home, Chris said: “The interview went well, and I was offered a trial shift to go and see if I like the role, which I did!

“I am really enjoying it. Now that I am working, I feel really pleased.”

Nicola Miller was referred to the Work and Health Programme, in partnership with Maximus. She has a speech and language impairment (Aphasia) which affects her talking and listening, and affected her confidence. Her Employment Coach helped her with her CV, ensuring that her skills where highlighted. She applied for a role as an NHS Administrator and was invited for an interview. Nicola worked alongside her Coach to identify her strengths and weaknesses in interviews and highlight areas she needed to work on.

Nicola said: “I have a speech and language disability which meant I needed help to find suitable vacancies, and to make applications. When I was successful in making a shortlist, my Employment Coach helped me prepare for the online interview. He helped me prepare answers to questions that where provided. The interview which went well, I got the job!”

“Throughout the whole process, my Employment Coach maintained regular contact with me, and I am very grateful for his support.”

Sean’s journey with Pluss began in August 2021 with the Plymouth Learning Disability Supported Employment Service. He started taking wellbeing sessions with his Coach, carrying out activities within the community to build his confidence and help with his social anxiety. During this time Sean’s anxiety improved, which led to him wanting to try a work placement. He attended the “Transferring life skills to work skills” course.

Following the completion of his course, he started an 8-week work experience at Tesco and once he completed that, Sean was offered a work experience role at the Co-Op warehouse. The management were so impressed with Sean’s work that he was offered a temporary summer job.

Sean said: “I’m really enjoying the work I am doing at Co-Op and have made some friends.”

Neil Cattle, Operations Manager at Pluss, stated: “We are proud to support Learning Disability Week. Our services aim to support people with a learning disability to gain the skills and confidence to secure any job. We know that people with learning disabilities make fantastic employees with a range of talents and experience, and the motivation to work.

“With the help of our teams and services, we want to continue empowering people with learning disabilities to gain confidence and feel supported in any ventures they wish to pursue.”

#NoOneLeftBehind #DisabilityConfident #LDWeek22 #IGotTheJob 

The Work and Health programme is funded by the Department for Work and Pensions and the European Social Fund.

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