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Plans that Work for Work

People with a learning disability are significantly less likely to be in paid employment than other people. Research, by the Institute for Policy Research (IPPR) North, the University of Sheffield and Manchester Metropolitan University, found that many children and young people with a learning disability are not getting the support they need to get the education, training, and preparation for adulthood that they are entitled to. As a result of cuts to education provision disabled children and young people are missing out on the support that will help them prepare for employment and adulthood. There is evidence that supported internships can be beneficial in preparing people for work but access to and the quality of these schemes varies.

The research team has published their findings in a report called ‘Plans that work: employment outcomes for people with learning disabilities’.

You can download the full report here

You can download the easy-read version of the report here

The key recommendations from this research are that :-

● The government should give more support for people with learning disabilities through Education Health and Care (EHC) plans.
● The government should provide more money for schools and colleges.
● Local councils and mayors should work with employers to create more supported internships.
● The government should allow people with learning disabilities to keep EHC plans for their first year of employment.

Following the publication of the report the researchers held two workshop events, one in Manchester and one in Sheffield inviting self-advocacy groups and representatives from the local authorities and charities, including Disability Sheffield, the Department for Work, the Department for Education, Project Search and Youth Employment. The workshops discussed what works and what the barriers are when it comes to improving employment outcomes for people with learning disabilities. Over the next few months an Action Plan will be developed exploring ways of working with various organisations to influence policy and practice.

Please find links to three short films that capture the key findings

William’s story – circles of support

Speakup Self-advocacy Rotherham

Debbie’s story of employment

If you would like to hear more about this work or share your experiences of working, or trying to find work, please contact Rachael Black at Sheffield University at rachael.black@sheffield.ac.uk


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