Press release

Announcement of taskforce to look at improving accessibility of apprenticeships for people with learning disabilities

A new taskforce announced today will help more people with learning disabilities to access apprenticeships.

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The taskforce comes as part of the government’s goal to create 3 million apprenticeships by 2020, and to halve the disability employment gap.

The taskforce has been created by the Department for Work and Pensions, the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills, and the Department for Education.

Minister for Disabled People Justin Tomlinson said:

After visiting Foxes Academy in Bridgewater, a hospitality and training hotel for young adults with learning disabilities featured on Channel 5 in September, I was convinced of the value of a vocational approach and the need for targeted policy intervention in this area. Apprenticeships offer fantastic opportunities for individuals to learn whilst they earn, developing the skills and knowledge they need to progress their careers in a wide variety of occupations and at a range of levels.

Skills Minister Nick Boles said:

Our commitment to apprenticeships is giving people everywhere the chance to develop vital skills while working in a real job and being paid. This taskforce will focus on how apprenticeships can be more accessible to people with learning disabilities so everyone can be part of the apprenticeships success story.

Only 6% of people with learning difficulties are currently in employment. Making apprenticeships and training opportunities more accessible will support many more people into work.

The taskforce will meet 3 times throughout May and June: once to identify issues, then to explore solutions and finally to form recommendations to make to ministers. It will be led by Paul Maynard MP and include employers, training providers, charities and educational experts.

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Published 9 May 2016