We have long believed that people with a learning disability need and deserve access to employment and training opportunities in order to reach their full potential. The Camden Society first started providing employment and training support to people with a learning disability in 1985 and we launched our apprentice programme apprenticeship scheme in 2011.
Since then, we’ve helped hundreds of people with a learning disability to secure jobs, volunteering and training opportunities. We’ve successfully established social enterprises, high-profile partnerships with a range of employers, and mainstream employment programmes. Our work has showcased the skills and potential of people with a learning disability and influenced UK employment policy.
Despite these successes, it hasn’t been an easy journey. Too many people with a learning disability are still unable to access enough support to find a job or enjoy real career progression. Most employers lack the confidence or knowledge to employ someone with a learning disability or create an inclusive workplace.
If we’re being honest, there’s still a long way to go. A new approach is needed. That’s why we’ve launched Unity Works as a specialist charity dedicated to supporting people with a learning disability to gain skills, achieve qualifications and secure jobs, so they can reach their full potential.
We expect to be held accountable for achieving this – by the people we support, by funders and by employers. With more focused priorities and dedicated resources, we will improve the support, training and tools available to people with a learning disability.