People with a learning disability have a right to work – we want employment to be seen as key part of their life.

Our vision is a future where people with a learning disability are receiving the right support to access and stay in work.

We want employers to know that people with a learning disability make good workers when supported properly.

We want people with a learning disability to have real jobs in the open labour market, with regular hours, and to be paid at the same rate as everyone else. Employment could be a few hours a week or full-time.

Current Situation

Approximately 8 out of 10 working-age people with a learning disability have a mild or moderate learning disability, but less than 2 in 10 are in employment.

When we consider people with a more severe learning disability who are known to social services’ then only 6 in 100 are in work. In comparison 49% of the wider disability community and 79% of the general population are in work.

The many barriers faced by people with a learning disability to access employment include:

  • A lack of good quality support to get and maintain employment
  • A lack of support to build confidence and skills
  • Employers’ attitudes
  • Lack of understanding as to what people with a learning disability can do with the right support.
  • Employment vision statement

What we want

We all want to get a job. Aside from the money – which gives us more independence and choices – it’s also a sign of social inclusion and being seen as a full member of society.

We know that most people with a learning disability can and want to work, as long as they are given the right support. That’s why we support the Government’s aim to halve the disability employment gap and think they now needs to put together a plan to remove the barriers facing people with a learning disability in getting employment.

For this plan to work, it must:

  • Improve the employment support for people with a learning disability, no matter where they live, and ensuring that the support is tailored to the person’s needs
  • Provide support to employers to take on more people with a learning disability
  • Promote positive employer attitudes towards people with a learning disability in employment, making sure they value their work
  • Make the health and wellbeing of disabled people central to the plan
  • Make sure that the education system equips pupils with SEN with the skills to gain employment
  • Create more jobs and training opportunities for people with a learning disability, including more work experience openings and apprenticeships with availability of on-the-job support
  • We’re working on a range of these issues, providing employment support services and working to ensure that people with a learning disability get a better deal going forward.

Employment services

Find out how we deliver employment services for people with a learning disability:


No one understands better than us that work is about more than just having a job. Being able to work can give you confidence, independence and the means to realise bigger dreams.

That’s why our work and training service, Employ Me, exists. We can help you, or someone you care for, to develop all the skills they need for the workplace. CV writing, interview practice, role-play, whatever it takes – we’ll do everything we can to get more people with a learning disability in rewarding jobs.

We can help people identify job opportunities, review a person’s training needs and provide on-the-job support where appropriate.

How can Employ Me support people?

  • Pre-employment support – appropriate training to develop the skills needed to get a paid job.
  • Work trials and placements – experience in a real work environment.
  • Support to find paid work – help with searching for a paid job through a range of employers, CV writing and interview preparation.
  • Job coaching and in-work support – help to learn new skills and cope with change.
  • Employer support – we also work with businesses employing people with a learning disability, so they can provide the right support and benefit from having a diverse workforce.
  • Most recently we’ve built strong relationships with businesses such as McDonald’s and South West Trains.

Employers we work with

Find out about some of the employers that have supported work experience placements for people with learning disabilities.

We work with a range of different companies to support people with a learning disability to progress towards and ideally into paid work. Companies can offer anything from a short work experience placement through to paid work. We provide a high level of education to employers about our client group as well as in work support, so there is little or no additional support required by the employer.

Below you can find out more about the organisations that have worked with Mencap to provide work placements for people with a learning disability:

Channel 4 is coming to the end of hosting its themed Year of Disability, based on the coverage of the Paralympics in September 2016. 4Talent have increased the amount of disabled people that engage with Channel 4’s entry-level work schemes; this year 30% of the work experience placements were ring fenced for disabled people and 50% of the apprenticeship scheme, and both targets for these schemes have been fulfilled. To top off the fantastic year Channel 4 have had, they have decided to partner with Mencap to also celebrate the Learning Disability Work Experience Week, by offering a placement to a Mencap client within the Human Resources department.

Anglia Ruskin

Anglia Ruskin is one of the largest universities in the East of England and takes pride in preparing students for life in a multicultural society. Sudents take courses that lead to undergraduate and postgraduate degrees, and a range of professional qualifications. They are are one of the most significant suppliers of nurses and teachers in the region and offer an expanding range of contemporary courses designed to meet the need of the individual and the knowledge-based economy.


B&M was formed in 1978 and is now one of the leading variety retailers in the United Kingdom, employing over 22,500 staff. We were happy to offer two placements within our store and hope that they go on to showcase the skills that they have learnt on placements with us.

Blush Hair & Beauty

Owner Natalie Birmingham and her highly experienced staff have been putting smiles on client’s faces for over 10 years. In November 2011 Blush Hair & Beauty moved to a bigger premises in Carmarthen and expanded the team to offer a full range of advanced and contemporary treatments. Blush Hair & Beauty salon became a family run business in November 2011,who have a team of hair and beauty specialists all experts in their own field

Camden & Islington NHS Foundation Trust

Camden and Islington NHS Foundation Trust (C&I) provides mental health, substance misuse and social care services to service users in the community, in their homes and in hospital. Their services are predominantly based in Camden and Islington, with an Improving Access to Psychological Therapies (IAPT) and a substance misuse service in Kingston, as well as a pan-London veteran’s service. The Trust currently employs approximately 1600 staff and have five clinical divisions: Acute, Rehabilitation and Recovery, Services for Ageing and Mental Health, Community Mental Health and Substance Misuse.

The Camden Society

The Camden Society has been delivering supported employment services for people with learning disabilities in London for 30 years. We work closely with employers to find suitable job matches for our clients and to provide advice and training on inclusive recruitment and employment practices. Work placements are often the perfect first step into work as they allow people to demonstrate their practical skills and gain experience of a real life working environment. We think National Work Experience week is a fantastic initiative and will be of huge benefit to people with disabilities and employers.

Cleary Gottlieb

This will be Cleary Gottileb second year doing work experience week. Allanah, who works for the law firm, says: “We have had an absolutely brilliant experience all round with Nick and Rita themselves and both Jon and Matt at Mencap who delivered our awareness training. Due to the success of our first placements we will be lining up 6 more.”


CMS is a full-service top 10 global law firm, based on the number of lawyers (Am Law 2016 Global 100). With 61 offices in 35 countries across the world, revenues totalled €1.01bn in 2015. CMS acts for the majority of the DAX 30, a large number of the FT European 500 and a number of Fortune 500 companies. We are committed to diversity and inclusion particularly the role we can play in sharing our values, ideas, experiences and learning with clients, partners and peers, to create a supportive and high-performing culture where everyone’s careers can flourish.


Disablement Association Hillingdon known (DASH) was formed in 1984 and is a user-led charity based in Hillingdon, West London. DASH challenges peoples perceptions and encourages disabled people of any age to reach their full potential. We encourage people with learning, physical and sensory impairments to inspire others and be role models in a healthier, happier, more inclusive community. DASH is an inclusive organisation and promotes independence to every individual it comes into contact with.


Dimensions is one of the country’s largest not-for-profits supporting people with learning disabilities, autism and complex needs. People with learning disabilities and their families are at the heart of everything we do and we want every person we support to have a great life, with excellent outcomes.

We support around 3,500 people and their families across England and Wales, including in their own homes or in group living – with support ranging from a few hours a week to 24/7, multiple-ratio support. We provide 1:1 care and support, shared care, sleep-in cover and waking night support. We support people with personal care, enabling tasks, housing and finance. Many of the people we support have complex needs and some display behaviours that challenge.

Down’s Syndrome Association

The Down’s Syndrome Association’s WorkFit service turns the ‘supported employment’ concept on its head. WorkFit finds the right employment opportunities, for the right people with the right level of support. Our approach is based on developing sustainable and suitable opportunities for our jobseekers through long term partnerships with employers who are enjoying the considerable benefits of tapping into a diverse and motivated talent pool.


We have engaged with Mencap to carry out work trials with four of their clients which has ultimately resulted in them joining EMCOR UK. Kehinde, Sam, Simon and Sandra have proved themselves to be great team members and carry out their tasks competently and to a good standard. Mencap has helped us every step of the way, supporting their clients, advising us on reasonable adjustments and we continue to work collaboratively with them to source more great people. Learning Disability Work Experience Week provides us with an exciting opportunity to do this and we are very much looking forward to welcoming another Mencap client to our team.


Engie is a leading energy and services group employing 20,000 people in the UK across three main activities – Services, Energy solutions and Energy infrastructure. We help businesses by leading the UK’s transition to a more secure and sustainable future. Our strategy is based on investing in integrating our energy expertise with our broad services offer, and innovating in customer-led solutions and technologies. The business has well-established and diverse operations that include providing power and gas to thousands of UK businesses, and delivering services to more than 14,000 customer sites across the public and private sector.


Fujitsu is an IT company offering a complete range of products, services and solutions. From looking after applications and protecting data, to managing supercomputers around the world, we’re helping businesses everywhere to become more innovative and efficient. We employ 14,000 people who work with us every day to keep the UK and Ireland running smoothly, with our products and services touching 99% of the UK population every day. Diversity is a high priority at Fujitsu, and something we’re determined to get right. We can only achieve this if we harness the talent of all our people to deliver the best solutions for our customers.

The Guardian Foundation

The Guardian Foundation is a registered, independent ch arity working towards empowering journalists and the community to tell their stories, access the truth and hold power to account. The foundation runs programmes in the UK and internationally under three pillars – Education, Human Rights and the Right to Information. Guardian News & Media Archive, which is a part of the Guardian Foundation, is beginning to explore the possibilities of Mencap’s employment services.

Houses of Parliament

Parliament are proud to take part in Learning Disability Work Experience Week 2016. Over the past few years we have facilitated several work experience placements for people with a learning disability.

The Hillingdon Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust

Our services are provided from both Hillingdon Hospital and Mount Vernon Hospital. The Trust has a turnover of around £222 million and we employ over 3,300 staff. We deliver high quality healthcare to the residents of the London Borough of Hillingdon, and increasingly to those living in the surrounding areas of Ealing, Harrow, Buckinghamshire and Hertfordshire, giving us a total catchment population of over 350,000 people. Communication, Attitude, Responsibility, Equity and Safety (CARES) is how we will achieve our vision for the Trust, which is to put compassionate care, safety and quality at the heart of everything we do. We recognise people are different and value everyone equally; We treat patients as individuals and take into account their individual needs; Respect and value diversity and the differences in others; Challenge bias, prejudice and intolerance.

Kids Adventures

Kids adVentures is a social enterprise led group of childcare nurseries that specialise in providing small and friendly home from home childcare. Employee owned, Kids adVentures aims to work with whole families to provide opportunities to improve health and wellbeing. Learning, movement and imagination are part of every day and regular outdoor activity is built into the programme. Promoting equality and diversity and offering opportunity for all is at the heart of Kids adVentures and therefore when we were given the chance to work with Mencap we did not hesitate.

Land Securities

Land Securities is a FTSE100 company and the largest commercial property company in the UK. They own many shopping sites across the country, including some of the largest and most well known ones such as Trinity Leeds, Bluewater in Kent, and Gunwharf Quays in Portsmouth. A Mencap charity partner since April 2014, Land Securities are helping Mencap raise funds and awareness to support people with a learning disability through the Looking Beyond The Label campaign.

Leeds Beckett

Here at Leeds Beckett, we are a modern professional university with ambition. Based in the vibrant city of Leeds, the biggest financial district outside of London, our vision is to be acknowledged for our commitment to student success, innovation and enterprise, global reach, and strong local impact. Our aspiration is to help create great graduates, exceptional employees, dynamic citizens and enterprising leaders and we work closely with employers and partners to ensure that our graduates are ready for work, ready for life, and ready to seize the opportunities that lie ahead.

Leeds Rhinos Foundation

Leeds Rhinos Foundation is the official charity of Leeds Rhinos. We deliver projects in the heart of the community by harnessing the power of sport to make a lasting, positive impact on individuals’ lives. As Leeds Rhinos’ charity we have a unique opportunity to truly change lives through sport. The Leeds Rhinos Foundation delivers a range of projects under its five principles of Education, Health, Sport, Art and Heritage. Sport is an engaging tool that allows our staff to work with a whole range of individuals, delivering important lifestyle messages to inspiring others to make positive changes to their own lives.

Leeds United

Leeds United Football Club is a professional association football club in Leeds, West Yorkshire, England. The club was formed in 1919 following the disbanding of Leeds City F.C. by the Football League and took over their Elland Road stadium. We are delighted in offering Mencap some work experience placement’s within our stadium and support the students with their dreams and aspirations.

Leonard Cheshire

Leonard Cheshire Disability is the UK’s leading charity supporting disabled people. Every year, we support thousands of people in the UK and around the world with physical and learning disabilities to fulfil their potential and live the lives they choose. We’re proud to take part in learning disability work experience week because from experience we know that placing individuals into work experience placements often proves to be the vital stepping stone towards paid employment for those we support.

London Aquarium

Beth from the London Aquarium says: “We usually work with schools and young children for work experience. However when Jon contacted us about Royal Mencap being interested in working with us we couldn’t turn down the opportunity. This will be our first time working with Royal Mencap so we are all excited and looking forward to the candidate coming in and gaining some experience and learning new skills.”


Since establishing 21 years ago, Lush has been driven by innovation and its ethics. Creators of pioneering beauty products such as the fizzing bath bomb, shower jellies and solid shampoo bars, Lush places emphasis on fresh ingredients like organic fruits and vegetables. Lush fights tirelessly against animal testing and operates a thoroughly comprehensive Ethical Buying department, supporting Fair Trade and Community Trade initiatives. Today, Lush has 932 shops worldwide and operates in 47 countries.


McDonald’s is one of the UK’s leading restaurant chains, serving good food made with quality ingredients. McDonald’s employs 92,500 people in the UK and operates 1,200 restaurants that serve more than 3 million customers every day.

Museum of Cannock Chase

Located on the site of the former Valley Colliery, the Museum of Cannock Chase sits at the gateway to the Hednesford Hills. It’s purpose is to give residents of, and visitors to, the Cannock Chase District the opportunities to actively participate in the preservation and exploration of the area’s cultural heritage. The museum is owned by Cannock Chase Council and managed by Inspiring healthy lifestyles (Wigan Leisure and Culture Trust). It aims to inspire people to choose healthier, more active and creative lifestyles.


Nando’s is an international casual dining restaurant chain originating from South Africa, with a Mozambican/Portuguese theme. Founded in 1987, Nando’s operates about 1,000 outlets in 30 countries.

National Trust

The National Trust is a conservation charity that is committed to the protection of the Special Places we have in the UK so that they can be enjoyed for years to come. Here in Carmarthenshire, we look after Dinefwr Park, Paxton’s Tower and Dolaucothi Gold Mines, not to mention the acres of coastline, farmland, even village pubs. When you visit, donate, volunteer or join the National Trust, your support helps us to look after our special places forever for everyone.

Newlife Foundation

Newlife Foundation changes lives for children with disabilities or terminal illness and their families. We do this by providing essential disability equipment, such as wheelchairs, specialist beds, sensory toys and car seats for children who would otherwise go without.

Volunteering can make a real difference to your own life and the lives of those around you, and the Newlife Volunteer Programme offers a choice of worthwhile activities to suit all skill levels and time commitments. By giving just a little time you can make a BIG difference to the life of a special child and there are many benefits for you such as improved health and well being, learning new skills and meeting fantastic people just like you!

NHS England

NHS England leads the National Health Service (NHS) in England. We set the priorities and direction of the NHS and encourage and inform the national debate to improve health and care. NHS England is taking concrete action to increase employment opportunities for people with a learning disability across the NHS. The week is a timely opportunity for health organisations to take the first steps towards employing people with a learning disability, and to get help to do so. NHS England is supporting the week by offering two work experience placements in business support at its main London office.

NHS East Riding of Yorkshire Clinical Commissioning Group

NHS East Riding of Yorkshire Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) is part of the National Health Service (NHS). Our role is to make sure the right NHS services, like hospitals, mental health and community services are available to meet everyone’s needs in our local area. There are a number of people working in the Clinical Commissioning Group including local GP who help to make decisions about the services people receive. Other roles include administration, commissioning, finance, PR/Communications, Quality and Patient Safety.

We want people to live long and healthy lives so we focus on helping people to manage their overall health and aim for patients to be central in their own care. We are committed to supporting our local communities and invest in services that are close to people’s homes to keep them well and out of hospitals.

Oddfellas Public House

Oddfellas were pleased to be approached by Mencap as supporting Learning Disability Work Experience Week is something that we had wanted to do in the past. We have offered four placement – two front of house and two back of house, which offer a true experience of what it’s like working in the hospitality sector. We have received learning disability awareness training from Mencap, which helped us to understand how best to support the young people involved in our placements.

[OPTI] Kinetics

[OPTI] Kinetics is a leading innovator of specialist lighting projection effects and has invented iconic products such as the liquid ‘lava type’ wheel and the Solar and Gobo range of projectors. Formed in London in 1970 by a group of creative lighting effect engineers, famous projects include light shows for Pink Floyd, The Who and Cream. [OPTI] Kinetics products allow users to create effects that are suitable for multiple corporate, healthcare and entertainment applications. This is the second year [OPTI] Kinetics has been involved in Learning Disability Work Experience Week.

Principle Cleaning

Jason Edwards from Principle Cleaning says: “We have been placing Royal Mencap candidates with us throughout the year and have found the candidates to be very hard working and honest. Jon has sent over three CVs for Work Experience Week that starts in November and we will take all three on for work experience with us.”


We’re committed to raising the employment rate for people with learning disabilities, which at 7% is much too low. Because of the high unemployment rate, most people with learning disabilities don’t have a competitive CV. Work experience gives people the chance to show what they can do, to find out what work is like, and to get one step closer to their goal of a paid job.

Rhubarb Farm

An agriculture-based environmental social enterprise, based in Langwith, on the Derbyshire/Nottinghamshire border, providing a service to the unemployed, recovering drug and alcohol misusers, ex-offenders, young people not in education, employment or training (NEET), excluded school students, people with learning disabilities, people with mental and physical ill health, ex service personnel, and people with dementia. We use the therapeutic organic horticulture model for developing skills, confidence and employability, and for improving health and well-being.


Strudel is a design agency based in London. Strudel specialises in working with organisations that promote positive social change, in the sectors of Arts & Culture, Charity, Education, Health & Wellbeing, Housing, and Social Enterprises. They create engaging design for branding, marketing, advertising, print and digital platforms. Strudel’s clients include Moorfields Eye Hospital, The Prince’s Trust, L&Q, and diversity and inclusion teams in leading organisations such as Anglia Ruskin University, Inclusive Employers, and South West Trains.


Talascend are global technical staffing solutions partner to industry-leading firms in the oil and gas, automotive, manufacturing, telecommunication, power and rail sectors. We specialise in providing just-in-time, hard to find technical resources and talent for clients in project, technology, and skilled labour-driven industries. Through our contract, and direct hire staffing services, we leverage our vast community of technical and skilled labour professionals to provide solutions for our clients’ unique workforce needs. We carry a proud reputation for being the preferred supplier of talent for some of the most sought-after employers.

Think Like A Pony

Think Like a Pony is a unique approach to horsemanship that inspires, educates and empowers children through learning to ride. Our unique children’s riding centres offer horsemanship experiences that help children to develop empathy, compassion and understanding for others at the same time as learning horsemanship skills. This provides an opportunity to refine key communication and social skills that help children to thrive in many areas of life. Children may begin lessons at a centre through a simple desire to learn how to ride and understand ponies, or in some cases, children can be referred to a centre due to specific social or emotional needs they may have. Children who are referred to our centres due to their needs, join our outreach programme. This programme helps them to develop skills that are transferrable to all areas of their life.

Ty Hafan

Tŷ Hafan is one of the UK’s leading paediatric palliative care charities and offers care to children and support for their families, throughout Wales. We offer comfort, care and support to life-limited children, young people and their families in the hospice, in the community and in their home so they can make the most of the time they have left together. We allow parents and carers to relax and recharge their batteries. And we make sure the needs of brothers and sisters are never forgotten.

Vanquis Bank

Vanquis Bank is the leading provider of credit cards to people in the non-standard credit market. We promote financial inclusion, bringing credit cards to people who may find it difficult to obtain credit elsewhere. Vanquis Bank was established in 2003 and is part of the Provident Financial Group, a lender established in 1880 with a history of operating predominantly in the home credit market. Operating from three locations around 1,400 employees supporting over 1.4 million UK based customers.

Annette Saunders, Corporate Responsibility Manager, says: “Vanquis is committed to becoming a learning disabilities inclusive employer. Through our partnership with Mencap we are aware of the challenges people with learning disabilities face gaining employment. We are pleased to be supporting this years Learning Disabilities Work Experience Week. Our involvement in last year’s event was a positive experience, not just for the young person involved but for our employees as well.

Vassall Centre

The Vassall Centre is one of the most accessible buildings in Bristol, it has 23 tenants and a busy conference centre. VC Conferences (the landlords) employ A Clean Sweep, a Co-operative with some of their members being supported by MENCAP, to clean the conference centre rooms, offices and communal areas. The Centre also has The Vassall Café which is run by Brandon Trust and offers paid employment and training to people with learning disabilities and autism.

Village Activity Centre

Laser Combat is one of the UK’s premier indoor combat simulation experiences. It’s modern laser tag in an environment that makes you believe you truly are entering a combat zone. We use sophisticated gaming guns, a purpose built simulated urban war zone and special sound and lighting effects to create an unforgettable close quarters combat experience that’s great fun and pain free because of our clever infra red gaming gun technology.

Voluntary Action Leeds

Voluntary Action Leeds (VAL) is a charity that supports communities by helping people and organisations that do good in Leeds. We do this by using our assets and expertise to provide guidance, services and space. Our purpose is to support third sector organisations in Leeds to have the skills, resources, support and voice to achieve their aspirations.

Vue Cinema

Vue Entertainment is a leader in the premium entertainment cinema sector in the UK. Committed to continued growth and development of its premium entertainment ‘big screen’ experience, Vue delivers the best choice of content, combined with the best technology in the best environment. Vue has 85 cinemas throughout the UK and Ireland, with 813 screens. They offer a range of content from blockbuster films to event cinema titles including opera, ballet, theatre, live streaming of concerts through to Gaming championships and much more.


Wellcome is a politically and financially independent global charitable foundation that supports great ideas that improve health for everyone, in accordance with the wishes of our founder, the medical entrepreneur Sir Henry Wellcome.

Our work encompasses science, arts, humanities and public engagement, tackling the big problems and challenges of our time. Our funding supports over 14,000 people in over 70 countries. Wellcome Collection and Library, our free Central London visitor destination for the incurably curious, offers the chance to explore the relationships between medicine, art and life in the past, present and future.

Wellcome recently joined Inclusive Employers. We understand that diversity, and an inclusive culture open to ideas and input from the widest possible group of people are vital for us to be effective in what we do. We are taking part in Learning Disability Work Experience Week 2016 because we recognise the huge potential of those with learning disabilities and that, with the right support, they can have a big impact on life at their organisations.

West Yorkshire Police

West Yorkshire Police logoWest Yorkshire Police is the territorial police force responsible for policing West Yorkshire in England. It is the fourth largest force in England and Wales by number of officers, with 5671 officers.

Xcel Project

The Xcel Project is a community venture founded by Towy Community Church as a way of bringing investment, jobs and services to Carmarthenshire. Xcel Bowl has created over 20 jobs and all profits are used to fund various community projects on and off site. Projects include providing emergency food supplies for those in financial crisis through our Foodbank and opening a recycled furniture centre for people on low income or in difficult personal situations.

Yorkshire Sport Foundation

Yorkshire Sport FoundationThe Foundation is the new name for the organisation responsible for South Yorkshire Sport and West Yorkshire Sport, two of the 45 County Sport Partnerships with responsibility for connecting and influencing providers of sport and physical activity to increase the number and quality of opportunities for participation across the Counties.


Contact Number: 020 7454 0454