Across the country 6% of people with learning disabilities have employment.
We have many young people with learning disabilities who want work and have useful skills and assets that could be beneficial to employers. Many of these young people have the types of qualities that employers are seeking - they are reliable, loyal and hard-working. In a tight labour market, such as we have in Surrey, employers increasingly need to seek out the "hidden" pools of talent (a phrase that I have learnt from Louise Punter at Surrey Chambers of Commerce). Some young people with autism, for example, are highly talented in logic and numeracy and can bring huge value to IT and financial functions in an organisation.
This is why we are initiating a cross-sector collaboration in conjunction with Surrey Chambers of Commerce, Surrey County Council, Halow and a range of other charities and employers to address this issue. At the first meeting, one of the major issues identified was purely that employers do not know about the possibilities or, if they do, they have put it on the "too hard" pile. The collaborative group will be seeking to address these issues and others.
If you are an employer interested in finding out more about employing a young person with a learning disability, please do get in touch.