Project information

WorkFit -

Employment for people with Down's syndrome

May 2011 - December 2014

Charity information

Down's Syndrome Association

Down's Syndrome Association logo
  • Need


    Each and every year, more and more people with Down’s syndrome (DS) are progressing through the education system to age 16
    and leaving school with aspirations and the necessary skills to gain employment. Whilst the education system has embraced their
    learning needs, the employment system is failing them.


    The Down’s Syndrome Association is aware that simply placing a person with DS into a workplace opportunity is not
    always an instant success. We are very aware that there are levels of support needed from the time that person leaves
    their house, right the way through their shift and up to the time they return home. We are also aware that a person with DS will
    need a certain level of support, encouragement and training at work in order to achieve their goals, and their employer

  • Aims

    Aim 1

    To help people with Down's syndrome enter into employment with full support.


    » Recruit and Employment Officer to take charge of the project. Create a website which both employers and candidates can post relevant information.

    We will conduct comprehensive regular reviews of our achievements set against our aims; capturing the experience from both the employer’s and (prospective) employee’s perspective

  • Impact


    No other organisation has such an in-depth knowledge of employment for people with DS, or the ability to make a valid contribution to the wider debate about poverty and disadvantage throughout England and Wales. This is a unique project not just for DS populations but for its impact on the learning disability population overall.


    The project’s success is dependent upon the availability of participating employers. We have already captured and maintained links with a variety of employers who have showed an interest in working with our client group. Economic factors may also determine success, but we have managed to attract a donation from a major trust to kick start the project.


    All of our training sessions will be recorded and evaluated and distributed to all attendees. With the recent introduction of helpline monitoring software we will be able to trace the volume, complexity and length of employment related calls received; we will also trace website traffic similarly.

  • Budget

    Budget - Project Cost: £213,968

    Loading graph....
      Amount Heading Description
      £92,016 Salary and on costs Employment Officer salary for 3 years - this includes £4,300 recruitment costs
      £20,000 Travel, equipment and IT ...related to the post
      £22,500 Website Creating, maintaining and developing the employment website
      £54,000 Employer training Training the employers who will be taking people with DS into their team
      £25,452 Mgt & admin @ 10% This figure also includes £6k Contingency - i.e - for payment of travel buddies

    Current Funding / Pledges

    Source Amount
    Sylvia Adams £50,000 Guaranteed
    BAE £15,000 Guaranteed
  • Background


    Although the Employment Officer for the WorkFit project will be based at Head Office in London, the project will be interacting with the whole of the UK, to ensure equal opportunities are given to people with Down's syndrome, and employers are not missed out, no matter how remote they are!


    All people with Down's syndrome looking to get into employment will have the opportunity to benefit from this project, and all employers looking to employ people with Down's syndrome. With approximately 6.5% of people with a learning disability currently in employment, and people with DS representing a fraction of that figure, the window of opportunity for them to get a job is very low. We intent to blast this statistic. With 60,000 in the UK with DS, we know we have our work cut out.

  • Why Us?

    Why Us?

    We are possibliy the most recognised charity for Down's syndrome in the UK and further afield. With 20,000 members having used our sevices since 1970, this project has come from us recognising this essential niche in society, combined with direct requests from our parent members over many years. We have also carried out a great deal of research to back up our 'hunches' over the last 5 years, and are now ready to face the challenge head on, and get people with Down's syndrome into employment!

    Read more about the Charity running this project.


    DSA Employment Officer

    The DSA Employment Officer will act as the catalyst between the people with DS and the employers to ensure the transition is smooth and successful.