Thanks for getting in touch. It is really good to hear that your daughter is keen to get a paid job. We hear from many people with a learning disability that one of their top priorities is to get into paid employment, as it enables independence, both financially and socially. This is why Mencap is doing a lot of work on this issue, and why we have decided to focus on employment for Learning Disability Week 2017.
There are a number of places your daughter and you can try to get help to find a job. What is available to some extent depends on the area you live in.
1) The local job centre
The local job centre is one of the first points of call. The job centre can put you in touch with a Disability Employment Adviser, who is specialised to help disabled people in their search for work. They can:
Do an employment assessment to identify what type of work or training suits your daughter best
Give your daughter a referral to a work programme for disabled people, like Work Choice or Access to Work
Give her a referral, if needed, to an Work Psychologist for a more detailed employment assessment to identify the best work or training for her
Provide a job-matching and referral service - the DEA should be able to let you know about jobs that match your daughter’s experience and skills
Give information on employers in your area who have adopted the ‘two ticks’ disability symbol.
2) Local authority
Many, not all, local authorities support a number of local employment projects or provide/ finance employment support opportunities for local disabled people in their area. You can try to get in touch with the local authority directly to find out what they offer. Some of them have employment programmes directly aimed at people with a learning disability. Whether or not there are eligibility criteria that your daughter would need to fulfil, is locally determined.
3) Local charities
It is probably also worthwhile to go on the internet and search for employment support in your local area. There are a number of charities that provide support, such as Mencap, and they should be able to point you in the right direction.
For example, our employment services run in Lancashire, West Yorkshire, South Yorkshire, Humberside, North Lincs, Bristol, Worcestershire, Staffordshire, Derbyshire, Leicestershire, Nottinghamshire, Derbyshire, Oxfordshire, Berkshire, London, Suffolk and Essex.
We hope this is useful. Please feel free to get in touch again, if anything is unclear.
Also, Mencap are currently running a survey about people with a learning disabilities’ experience with finding a job. We would love to hear from your daughter – she can access the survey here.
Beatrice and Paul