Employment can provide many benefits for people with a learning disability but employers can benefit from employing people with a learning disability too.  

There are lots of voluntary organisations which can support you if you have a learning disability and are seeking employment but we can provide support to help you gain and maintain paid employment too if you need it. 

Benefits of employment

There are many benefits to paid employment, including: 

  • learning new skills and gaining experience 
  • financial benefits 
  • increased independence 
  • community involvement 

Benefits to employers include: 

  • a committed and reliable workers 
  • a workforce reflecting the community 

Voluntary sector support     

As well as seeking support from us there are also many websites and resources that can help you find opportunities and understand your rights when seeking work or while in the workplace: 

Mencap, a charity which works to help people with a learning disability thrive in all areas of their lives, offers support with education, skills and work. 

The National Autistic Society (NAS) provides a variety of work programmes, training and resources to cater for autistic jobseekers and employers looking to benefit from hiring a more diverse workforce. 

The Autism Project is a full-time, two-year, employability programme for autistic young people aged 18-25, with an Education Health and Care Plan. 

Scope offers online and telephone employment support to people with a learning disability. 

The National Careers Service can provide careers advice for people with a learning disability find and stay in work. 

The Prince’s Trust supports young people aged up to 30, with or without a learning disability, access employment, training and education.  

Disability Rights UK which is run by and works for people with disabilities has lots of information on your rights and can help with looking for job vacancies, apprenticeships, applications, interviews and more.  

Job Centre Plus has disability employment advisers at local Jobcentres who can help you find a job and gain new skills. They can also tell you about disability-supportive employers in your area. 

Merton Employment Team  

We can support people who live in Merton, referred to us by the social work team, find and secure employment. We can also help you find volunteering opportunities which might support your search if this is appropriate for you. 

We help job seekers prepare to apply for permanent roles by: 

  • helping you identify an area of work based on your ability and experiences 
  • help you put together a CV 
  • provide interview training 
  • arrange training in areas such as, time-keeping, communication and health and safety 
  • arrange work trials  

Intensive support pilot scheme 

We are also running a pilot scheme to provide more intensive support for those who can learn more quickly. 

You may be eligible to join the pilot if all the following apply to you: 

  • you have a learning disability or autism 
  • you have, or used to have, an Education, Health and Care Plan (EHCP) 
  • you are seeking employment 

The scheme is due to end in March 2024. 

For more information on the pilot contact: Hannah.Andrew@merton.gov.uk 

To find out more about how our learning disabilities employment team can support you email: MertonEmploymentTeam@merton.gov.uk or telephone:  020 8274 5735