Having a job isn’t just about earning an income – it can help to build confidence, develop skills and widen friendships. However, finding and sustaining employment can be tough for people with learning disabilities.
In 2013/2014, the British Association for Supported Employment estimated that just 6.8% of adults with learning disabilities aged between 18 and 64 were in paid employment. We believe that anyone who wants to work should have the opportunity to do so, which is why wherever one of the people we support expresses an interest in getting a job, our supported employment teams will work with them to find a paid or voluntary role that suits them. We’ve arranged successful placements everywhere from hotels and shops, to radio stations and TV studios.
Finding a job
When someone feels ready to begin work, we begin the process of matching them to a role, taking into account the requirements of both the jobseeker and the employer. We support them to put together a CV, and help them prepare for and attend interviews.
Once a successful job match has been made, we continue to offer support to ensure that the new employee has all the training they need, and that they’re happy in their role. We stay in touch with the employer, making sure we’re on hand to offer information and guidance if and when they need it.
We also offer support to people with learning disabilities who would like to volunteer as a means of getting employment experience that can lead to paid work.
Supported employment projects
Project SEARCH is the result of our partnership with Bradford Teaching Hospitals, Southfield School and Bradford Council. Through it, young people with learning difficulties take part in on-site work placements, enabling them to gain the confidence and skills necessary for employment.
E4 Print and Design is a work skills training initiative run by Hft that helps give adults with learning disabilities the opportunity to get experience of a real work environment, boosting their esteem and helping them get more involved in the community.
Off to Work courses
In some regions, we run Off to Work courses that are specially designed for people who have little or no experience of work. They’re open to anyone we support who is motivated to find a job, and cover areas such as:
- Employment ethics
- Health and safety
- Job searches
- Interview skills
We also run personal development training to support the job search process, in topics including advocacy, relationships and confidence building.
Are you an employer looking for staff?
If so, give us a call – we’d love to hear from you. You may be interested to know that research from the Joseph Rowntree Trust shows that people with learning disabilities are generally reliable, more likely to stay with one employer for a long time and tend to take less time off.
Contact your local Hft service.