WorkFit, a work placement program based in the U.K., is expanding to help more individuals with Down syndrome find employment. Rather than training individuals to find a job, their unique program trains employers how to best support individuals with Down syndrome.
Coles Scaffolding is one of the businesses that has benefitted from the program. After undergoing the training in 2018, they hired Todd Scanlon, a young man with Down syndrome, on a trial basis — and he’s been working for them ever since. In 2019, he even won a national award for “best apprentice” for his quality work.
Mr. Coles states:
“[Todd is] never late, never has time off. Always punctual. Always polite with everyone, so as an employer what more would you want?”
WorkFit recently enlisted Roy Perrett, a retired police control room manager, to bring on more businesses and jobseekers. Perrett says:
“Only 5.1% of people with a learning disability are actually in employment so it really demonstrates that we have got a lot of work to do.
We’re reaching out to employers to create those opportunities for work, but also to try and engage with our parents and candidates to encourage them to give it a go…
My attitude has always been to focus on ability not disability, on what people can do, instead of what they can’t do, and I will bring this ethos to my new WorkFit role.”
The cause is close to Perrett’s heart because his late brother, Craig, had a disability.