Supporting access to education and employment

Here at Voyage Care, we believe that every person has the right to live the life they choose. No one should be restricted or discouraged from pursuing education or employment. Enabling each individual we support to fulfil their goals, such as accessing an educational course is central to our support ethos.

We are proud to be a disability confident employer, and offer opportunities to many individuals we support to work for Voyage Care – from work experience days and volunteering to paid employment. Adrian, who lives in one of our residential care homes, was extremely excited when he got his first job as a Voyage Care quality checker.

"When the job was first advertised I knew I had to go for it, this was something I could really see myself doing. I must admit the interview was pretty scary but when I was offered the post all of that was forgotten. I couldn’t believe it, I was so happy!”

We take great pride in working with the people we support to develop their independence and support them into work, whether that’s here at Voyage Care or other businesses local to them. Adam, who we support in Yorkshire, has been volunteering at Sue Ryder for over two years now and his proud mum is delighted to see the impact it has had on his life. She said

“Adam’s confidence has really grown since he started volunteering at Sue Ryder – it’s really boosted his confidence… I’m so unbelievably proud of Adam – I always am. This job has really helped him.”

Unfortunately many employers are hesitant to employ individuals with disabilities, and can underrate their abilities. A recent report by the National Autistic Society highlighted that, given the chance, employers would see that many individuals with learning disabilities are skilful as well as being extremely hard working, motivated and a great addition to the team. We are confident that progress can be made in closing the disability employment gap, and hope to see the Government take action to achieve this.

A recent United Nations report has criticised the UK Government for introducing a string of austerity policies that have failed people with disabilities.

The UN committee on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities grilled the government on two major issues - education and employment. They highlighted the significant "rise in disabled pupils not in mainstream education and a persistent employment gap facing disabled adults" and also claimed UK legislation had “failed to recognise living independently and being included in the community as a human right”.

Voyage Care CEO Andrew Cannon, who is also co-Chair of coalition campaign group Learning Disability Voices said the report made depressing reading. He said: “Adult social care is constantly overlooked by Government policy. The public sector cuts implemented over the last few years have posed a severe challenge for care providers.

This is a key issue for the Learning Disabilities Care Manifesto 2017. Last year we warned that our sector was approaching crisis point, but now we have reached it.”