PEOPLE with a learning difficulties are being offered a helping hand to find work.
Heart of England Mencap currently supports 233 people living with a learning disability – and just five are in paid employment.
The charity has received £156,000 in funding from the Building Better Opportunities fund to launch two projects which will support the most disadvantaged people into work in Stratford and Warwick districts.
The Accelerate project, in conjunction with Coventry and Warwickshire CDA (Co-operative Development Agency), will work with those over 25, while the Progress project, in conjunction with Groundwork UK, will work with under 25s.
Helen Cleminson joins as Employment Journey Guide, while Nikki Hillard joins as Progress Coach. Both will be working every Monday and Friday out of the ‘Job Pod’ at Stratford College. There they will work with local people with learning disabilities to get them employment ready – helping find volunteering opportunities and work experience placements, identifying and improving skills, providing support with CVs and interviews, and searching for job opportunities.
One key element will be communication with schools and colleges across both Stratford and Warwick districts, helping disadvantaged people soon to leave education.
Heart of England Mencap chief executive Helena Wallis said. “This can be one of the most challenging times – when people have been in education for a long time and then face leaving, with nothing to go to.
“The number of people with learning disabilities in paid-work or even benefitting from work experience is shockingly low and that needs to change. Everyone wants a meaningful job – and people with a learning disability should have that opportunity too. This project is about overcoming the barriers to employment which exist for many local people within our community,
developing each participants’ skills and training enabling and empowering them to be work ready.”
Visit www.heartofenglandmencap.org.uk for further details.