UK: Companies that recruited people with learning disabilities say it benefited their teams

Author: Adam Forrest, Guardian (UK), Published on: 17 November 2015

"Companies fear employing people with learning disabilities, survey reveals", 10 Nov 2015

The government wants more people with disabilities working. In a recent speech, the work and pensions secretary…said he aims to halve the employment gap between disabled and non-disabled people, and criticised businesses for failing to provide enough opportunities…Almost a quarter (23%) of employers feel their colleagues would not be happy working with someone with a learning disability. And 45% fear it might be difficult for the public to deal with someone with a learning disability…“It’s a lack of knowledge and awareness,” says Mark Capper, head of employment at Mencap…Capper says there has been progress since Mencap’s learning disability work experience week was launched two years ago. Mencap and Inclusive Employers have arranged week-long placements for those who have never been given the chance before. Major employers including McDonald’s, Sainsbury’s, South West Trains and Enterprise Rent-a-Car have been involved in the scheme…“I felt we were missing talent opportunities,” explains Kelly Barlow, human resources director at South West Trains. “We were happy to put the initial work in with the trainees and give them the skills, and what we got in return were great people with great attitudes. We saw their positive attitude to work became infectious in the team around them.”...

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Related companies: McDonald's Rent-A-Center Sainsbury's