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Employment: Learning Disability

Department for Work and Pensions written question – answered on 9th February 2018.

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Photo of Paul Blomfield Paul Blomfield Shadow Minister (Exiting the European Union)

To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, what assessment she has made of the adequacy of support made available by employers for workers with learning difficulties.

Photo of Sarah Newton Sarah Newton The Minister of State, Department for Work and Pensions

We know that people with learning difficulties have often not been well supported in employment. In Improving Lives: The Future of Work, Health and Disability, we published our analysis of Labour Force Survey (LFS) estimates that working-age disabled people with a reported main health condition of a learning difficulty (including people with a learning disability) have an employment rate of 24%.

Making a step change in the life chances of people with learning difficulties, and learning disabilities, is a cross-Government priority. Improving Lives describes the measures we have taken so far and lays out our strategy for the future, including improvements to apprenticeships, education and employment support. The details may be read here: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/improving-lives-the-future-of-work-health-and-disability

Many leading employers do already create inclusive, healthy workplaces where people can thrive, and our vision is for this to become normal practice for all employers.

When employers sign up as Disability Confident they are asked to make specific meaningful offers of opportunities for disabled people such as jobs, apprenticeships, internships, and work experience opportunities. 5,550 businesses are currently signed up to Disability Confident, and this number is growing rapidly.

Access to Work provides practical and financial support for the additional costs faced by individuals whose health or disability affects the way they do their job. Access to Work has a Hidden Impairment Specialist Team which specialises in supporting people with learning difficulties, mental health conditions, learning disabilities and other less visible disabilities.

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