A student with a learning disability enjoyed a week of learning on the job, thanks to a special opportunity.

Virgin Money teamed up with leading learning disability charity, Mencap, to provide a work experience opportunity for Waltham Forest College student, Nihal Pervez, who has a learning disability.

Nihal Pervez, 20, from Ilford said: “I had a great week working inside the Virgin Money office last week. I feel so happy to have done this work experience and it has helped me to think about what I want to do in the future. Thank you Virgin Money and Mencap for this amazing opportunity.”

Nihal also attended a business breakfast, co-hosted by Mencap and Virgin Money and supported by the Financial Times, where she talked to employers about how they can change attitudes towards disability in the workplace.

Less than 6 per cent of people with a learning disability known to their local authority are in paid employment.

James Peirson, disability network sponsor at Virgin Money said: “We are keen to make sure that this partnership is not just an incredible fundraising opportunity for the charity, but also delivers a long-lasting legacy for people with a learning disability. Our partnership ambition is to tackle discrimination and stigma around learning disability and promote social inclusion.”

The year-long partnership includes Mencap being charity of the year for the 2020 Virgin Money London Marathon.

Mark Capper, of Mencap, added: “People with a learning disability can work and want to work, and with the right support they make really fantastic employees. Our research has shown that simple things like inaccessible application forms are a real barrier to people with a learning disability applying for jobs.

“Often all that is needed is small and cost-effective reasonable adjustments to open the doors for people with a learning disability who want to work and who go on to be committed employees.”