The Down’s Syndrome Association, with a Head Office Teddington but operating throughout the UK, forges collaborations between those with Down’s syndrome and employers looking to hire new staff through their hugely successful WorkFit programme.
It advises employers on how to properly support employees with Down’s syndrome so they can fulfil their goals in the workplace.
Down’s syndrome will affect 1 in every 1000 babies born in the UK and is a result of an extra chromosome present in a baby’s cells.
People with Down’s syndrome are capable of learning and working, and the Down’s Syndrome Association supports them to live full and rewarding lives.
A variety of different types of employment are developed and supported by WorkFit including permanent, temporary, paid or voluntary roles.
Over 90% of candidates placed by WorkFit find permanent paid work continue to be employed.
Alison Thwaite, WorkFit Employment Development Manager, Down’s Syndrome Association said: “We believe that everyone who has Down syndrome can work if they want to and if they have the right level of support”
To help an employee with Down’s syndrome to learn their role, WorkFit implements a ‘buddy’ system, pairing them with a current member of staff to guide and support them.
New employees registered with WorkFit also gain valuable advice in creating CVs and are matched to suitable roles in the work environment they are best suited to, in accordance with their ambitions and abilities after completing a vocational profile.
Tommy Patrick, who has Down’s syndrome, has had his permanent paid job as a Transport Operative at GXO Logistics for six months.
Part of his admin job is scanning papers of delivery and managing transport documents, ensuring they all have the relevant information and signatures.
Mr Patrick commented: “This is the job I was born to do. I feel amazing having this job. It’s a place where I’ll learn and making sure how everything goes at work and making sure I give my rent to my mum and dad for their new house.
“It’s important for me to have this job because I think it’s an adult world where you go out to work do your duty and make sure you do everything you possibly can.”
Thomas Austin, another GXO logistics employee with Down’s syndrome, working as a Warehouse Assistant commented: “I like working here, you have to work really hard. I wouldn’t be alive if I didn’t have a job.”
The British Association of Supported Employment showed only 5.1% of adults with learning disabilities being in paid employment as of 2020-21. This statistic evidences the desperate need for charities such as The Down’s Syndrome Association to continue to provide the WorkFit programme.
WorkFit continues to expand the numbers of people who have Down’s syndrome who are in work in England and Wales
If you would like more information, please visit: https://www.dsworkfit.org.uk/
Or contact: [email protected]