A local Mencap trainee got an insight into the world of work last week after taking part in a placement with a local retailer.
Cameron Murray was given the opportunity to work with retailer Asda in its Ballyclare store after learning disability charity Mencap teamed up with employers across Northern Ireland for Learning Disabilities Work Experience Week.
The annual event aims to raise awareness of the benefits for employers so that they think differently about who they employ, while providing valuable experience for people with a learning disability.
Mencap trainee Cameron stated: “I have been supported by Mencap now for two years. I have worked in a local grocery store before and have a placement with Poundland in the town for two days a week, but I am really excited about my placement with Asda. This will be good experience for me and will help me to get a full time job.”
The event was the first Learning Disabilities Work Experience Week to be held in Northern Ireland.
Asda will initially provide ten individual short-term placements for people with a learning disability across its local stores, including Ballyclare.
Mencap local employment officer Tanya Stirling said that more needs to be done to help increase opportunities for skills development and progression into employment.
“People with a learning disability have the same right to work as anyone else. Each year Mencap supports over 600 people with a learning disability throughout Northern Ireland to experience the world of work with a range of employers across all sectors and occupational areas, and I want to thank the staff at Asda for giving Cameron this opportunity,” she commented.
Asda Ballyclare store manager, Steven Henry added: “Developing an inclusive working environment is important and good for business, as a more diverse workforce that is reflective of our customers means that we can serve them better.”
Employers seeking more information about the initiative should call Mencap on 028 2766 6666.