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Campaign encourages hiring people with Down’s syndrome

Words by Smiley Team

An international campaign has been launched to encourage employers around the world to hire people who have Down’s syndrome.

The Hiring Chain project aims to showcase the abilities and attributes people with Down’s syndrome bring to the workplace, and increase the visibility of young people with Down’s who also have jobs they love.

The campaign song and video features music star Sting singing joyful lyrics, and challenges the low expectations and prejudices that many people with Down’s experience.

The campaign is the result of a collaboration between Italian charity CoorDown and New York-based creative agency SMALL, and is supported by LinkedIn.

The UK-based Down’s Syndrome Association have backed the initiative, and research has revealed that in 2019/20 just 5.6% of adults with learning disabilities in England were in paid employment – a figure that looks set to fall once the effects of the pandemic are calculated.

Carol Boys, chief executive of the Down’s Syndrome Association said: “Many adults who have Down’s Syndrome work in sectors that have been particularly impacted by Covid-19 such as hospitality, catering and retail.

“Employment rates for people who have learning disabilities are already incredibly low, and we are desperate for them not to fall further. So we’re appealing for businesses large or small, to get on board and consider employing someone who has Down’s syndrome.”

Luke has Down’s and works at the café in department store Fenwick’s in Newcastle for two days a week, and has done for five years. He said: “I love my job. I sign in, put my things in my locker and then I go straight on the floor. I look after the customers and I clear the tables.

“I enjoy meeting all the customers and working with staff in the store. It makes me feel proud of myself.”

To find out more about The Hiring Chain visit the campaign website or follow the Down's Syndrome Association on Twitter.

This article aligns with the following UN SDGs

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