Is the East Midlands the worst region for Jobs for People Living with a Learning Disability (PWLD)

Its a fact that the East Midlands has the fasted growing economy outside of london and the South East. Its also a fact that it employs the fewest people living with a learning disability at only 3.1%. In the UK the number of adults with learning disabilities in any paid/self-employment has dropped from 9,905 people in 2011/12 to 7,430 people in 2014/15 (6% employment rate), the majority of those people (71%) work less than 16 hours a week.

These figures are shocking however are we surprised who is to blame?

My opinion is that no single person, organisation or government policy is to blame for the situation. PLWD have been the victims of a perfect storm, where the skills bar is being raised so high it is out of reach. People flooding the jobs market who had been unemployed taking the low skilled temporary and part time contracts. Zero hour contracts have clearly impacted in this area as most PWLD work 16 hours or less.

What happens next

One of the Midlands premier employers, Rolls Royce

BECUKs Business partnership scheme is designed to help businesses understand the needs of PWLD as they understand those of people with a physical disability. It comprises a number of training programmes and videos which people work through at their own pace, enabling them to understand PWLD and their needs. In this way we will raise awareness and understanding. When we think of PWLD and jobs the focus is all wrong, we want organisations to look at what people can do, not what they can’t. We believe that every person has the right to reach their own unique potential, be independent and have choices about how they live their lives, be safe and have equality of opportunity in every aspect of them.

We need your help

This situation is disgraceful, however no one is directly responsible, or to blame. We know that by working together, we will be able to make a real difference to the lives of PWLD their families and carers. We need evry employer to think about how they can employe a PWLD see Kavitas idea below



Ian Clowes CEO, BECUK

Kavita Oberoi OBE, talking to me at the Signature business awards where she was the keynote speaker, about her fantastic idea for getting more people with learning disabilities into employment. Thank you Kavita.

One quick and easy way of improving health, for people living with a learning disability

You’re Doctor and you

“If you have a learning disability, including SEN or Statement or EHC plan, or MLD or Autism, Its important that you tell your Doctor, they will then record this fact against your medical record”.


Sadly of the 1.7 million people with a learning disability known to be living in the UK, only a third of them are registered correctly as having a learning disability, with their Doctor. The remaining 2 thirds are referred to by the NHS as the Hidden majority.

This lack of correct registration means that they are missing out on advice that would help them to stay well, or be treated properly and in a way that they could understand. Some people with learning disabilities may be eligible for an annual health check, it is estimated that only half the people eligible for a health check are getting them. This information kept by your Doctor, is also important for the NHS and local Authorities, when they build new services, make changes or close them down. It also enables trends to be spotted helping to put prevention strategies in place

We are asking all parents, careers, teachers and health professionals, to help improve the numbers of people correctly registered. The next time you call for an appointment or visit the Doctor, ask them to record the fact, that either you or your loved one has a learning disability. Its important to let your Doctor have the right information, these people are doing a fantastic job and with our help they can do a better one.

Some facts

People with learning disabilities are four times more likely to die of preventable causes than other people, due to untreated ill health, leading to a high likelihood that avoidable deaths, may be occurring.

·These people are 58 times, more likely to die before the age of 50 than other people.

·Life expectancy is shortest for those with the greatest support needs and the most complex and/or multiple conditions.

·They do not have the same access to health services as other people.

·They have higher levels of unmet need and receive less effective treatment than the rest of the population.

·They are less likely to get standard evidence-based treatments and checks.

·They are less likely to be given pain relief; and less likely to receive palliative care.

·Those people with learning disabilities from a minority ethnic group have higher rates of morbidity and mortality, they still encounter discrimination, abuse and neglect in health services, have higher rates of obesity, coronary heart disease, respiratory disease, hearing impairment, dementia, osteoporosis and epilepsy.

·26% of people with learning disabilities are admitted to hospital each year, compared to approximately 14% of the general population.