A new two-year project being run by social enterprise Beyond Words is being launched to help encourage more people with learning disabilities get into the world of work.
This demographic is more excluded from the workforce in the UK than any other group of disabled people. Over 65 per cent would like to hold down a paid job, yet just seven per cent have one and in a lot of cases this is only part-time.
The project will see new book clubs launched around the UK where books will be used to spark conversations, focusing on four stages of employment – leaving school, volunteering, finding work and staying in a job.
The scheme is being supported by the Department for Work and Pensions, which has provided Beyond Words with £280,000 worth of funding.
Damian Green, secretary of state for work and pensions, said: “A disability should not dictate the path a person is able to take in life. What should count is a person’s talent and their determination to succeed. Beyond Words book clubs help people with a learning disability to break down the barriers they face. It’s a brilliant project that offers people with learning disabilities the support they need. I look forward to working with them.”
This follows research from charity Mencap, which recently revealed that 62 per cent of people say they’ve never actually worked with a person who has a learning disability. Interestingly, just 52 per cent also said they would prefer to work for a business that employs those with learning disabilities.
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