Hft is calling on the government to ensure that trainers with learning disabilities and autism are fairly remunerated for their time.

The recommendation formed part of the charity’s response to the Department of Health and Social Care consultation on mandatory provision of learning disability and autism awareness training for health and social care staff.

Under current proposals, face-to-face training would only be provided to employees that are in regular contact with people with learning disabilities. The trainers, who themselves would have a learning disability, would only be remunerated for their expenses.

However, Hft argues that the current proposals don’t go far enough. The charity suggests that face-to-face training from trainers with learning disabilities or autism should extend to training programmes at all levels of an organisation, and that trainers should be paid a fair wage for participating.

Responses to the consultation were gathered from Hft staff, its Family Carer Support Service, and members of the Voices to be Heard group, which provides a forum on which people supported by the charity can have their say on the issues that matter to them.

Billy Davis, Public Affairs and Policy Manager at Hft, said:

“We welcome government proposals for mandatory awareness training by a person with learning disabilities for health and social care staff.

“However, we believe that everybody working in a setting that supports both people with learning disabilities and autistic people, irrespective of their role within that organisation, should be given awareness training.  By meeting people with a learning disability or autism, we hope that it will challenge any preconceptions staff may have and better prepare them for supporting these individuals in the future.

“Under the current proposals in the consultation, trainers would only be reimbursed for their travel expenses.  However, we believe these trainers should be paid a wage for the work that they do and for sharing their lived experiences to improve services. This is a job – the same as for any other trainer – so they should be paid for providing this role. If the government is serious about people with learning disabilities and autism being included in these training programmes then they should be fairly remunerated and paid at least the National Living Wage for their time.”

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About Hft

Hft is a national charity supporting more than 2,500 adults with learning disabilities across England and Wales to live the best life possible. Established in 1962, the charity uses its own unique Fusion Model to consistently deliver high quality, person-centred support across all its services.

Services range from supported living to residential care – from a few hours a week to 24 hours a day. Hft also helps people with learning disabilities to take part in daily activities, make friends and develop relationships and to find work.

For more information about Hft, please visit www.hft.org.uk

Information about learning disabilities

A learning disability can be mild, moderate, severe or profound and is defined as having a reduced ability to:

  • Understand new or complex information
  • Learn new skills
  • Live independently

For more information about learning disabilities, please visit www.hft.org.uk/resources-and-guidance