Employment Agencies Must Support Those With Learning Disabilities

United Response, a learning disability and mental health charity, has declared that only ten per cent of people with learning disabilities in the UK can find any kind of work. The Foundation for People with Learning Disabilities (FPLD) has responded by saying that it is the responsibility of employment agencies to encourage this demographic into work.

Barbara McIntosh, co-director of FPLD, said that government initiatives alone are not enough and that more needs to be done within the employment sector to encourage employers to take on staff with learning disabilities.

Quoting the Pathfinder initiative set up by Patricia Hewitt earlier this year, Ms McIntosh explained that organisations can apply for funding to help people set up their own businesses. Grants can also be given by the Learning Disability Service and Learning and Skills Council.

“A lot of people with learning disabilities have some very interesting niche skills – especially people who have autism, who have some very interesting skills which can be put to good use in the workplace,” she said.”If employers are willing to offer support, as they do with all their other employees, then people with learning disabilities can make a very solid contribution,” she concluded.