Could We Be Doing More In Greater Manchester?

Posted on the 14th July 2017

Beth is now employed at Easy Hair Salon

Ahead of World Youth Skills Day this weekend and its message of #skillsforall, Pure’s Chief Executive Officer, Louise Parrott-Bates, shares her thoughts on supported employment for people with a learning disability.

Recently I've been involved in looking at supported employment on a regional level and wanted to share some facts that I found shocking; I'm sure you will too.

People with a learning disability in Greater Manchester are significantly less likely to be employed than anywhere else in England. Before we address this fact, lets take a look at the figures.

The national average number of people with a learning disability in employment is 5.8%. Eight out of the ten authorities in Greater Manchester fall below this number. In fact, six authorities have fewer than 3% of people with a learning disability in employment; half the national rate.

Interestingly the figures for the remaining two authorities, Stockport and Trafford are well above the national average. Across Stockport, 11.6% of learning disabled people are in employment and in Trafford the figure is even higher; 13.7%.

I believe this outstanding difference is fundamentally due to the focus on specialist supported employment providers such as Pure here in Stockport and United Response in Trafford.

More than 65% of our Supported Interns have moved into paid roles this year

In the coming days I'd like to talk about what this means for Pure, for Stockport, Greater Manchester and for the UK, but for now lets just look at what it means for the individual; for people living with a learning disability.

The benefits that come from being in work aren't always financial; I think deep down we all realise that. The impact of employment on an individual's confidence, self esteem and overall wellbeing can't be underestimated.

Even just being in a work environment with colleagues and co-workers is beneficial, rather than being trapped at home all day; it opens up a whole network of social activities that people with a learning disability often miss out on entirely.

Employment offers a sense of value and independence; it can be a lifeline.

Why aren't we all doing more across Greater Manchester?

Join me next time,

- Louise

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