HAVING a disability doesn’t mean you have to stop working.
That’s the message the Mencap service, in Admiral House, Fareham, wants to get across.
The centre helps people with learning disabilities to gain the skills needed for employment, and supports them to find a job.
Mark Hoban, MP for Fareham, visited the centre to find out more about the service.
During his visit, he spoke to Charlotte McAllister, who has a learning disability, about the difficulties she faced in finding employment.
Through the support from Mencap, Charlotte is now a support worker in one of Mencap’s care and support services, and is working full-time.
Mr Hoban, who is also a minister for employment, spoke to staff about services.
He said: ‘It was really encouraging to see the excellent work being done by Mencap to help disabled people into work.
‘Disabled people should have the same choice of jobs as everyone else, so we’re providing support to help them overcome barriers to work.’ The centre delivers the government’s Work Choice programme, which helps severely disabled people into work.
Statistics from Mencap show that only seven per cent of people with a learning disability are in work.
Emma Harrison, assistant director at learning disability charity Mencap, said: ‘We are really pleased that the minister came to see the great work that Mencap’s employment service does in supporting people with a learning disability to find a job. We know that many people with a learning disability want to work, yet currently less than seven per cent are in work. As well as getting the support right, we need to continue working with employers to help break down the barriers that people with a learning disability face when trying to get a job.’
To find out more information about the Work Choice programme through Mencap, visit mencap.org.uk/employment.