Employers should focus on the abilities of people with Down's syndrome, it has been argued.

Roy Perrett, who worked as a police control room manager for 40 years, has taken on a new role as the liaison officer for Wiltshire's WorkFit programme, a scheme which helps people who have Down's syndrome find work-related activities.

The new employment officer for Swindon's Down's Syndrome Group now wants to encourage more businesses to contact him so he can match candidates with their dream job.

Roy, 61, said: "It's about giving people with Down's syndrome a chance in life to achieve some of their goals and aspirations.

"Work gives you so much. It gives you the ability to build relationships with your colleagues, learn new skills, and it can raise your self-esteem and value.

"People who have Down's syndrome have all sorts of dreams and aspirations so I'm looking for all types of businesses.

"For example, Todd now works as a scaffolder while Luke works for the police so we want to find a variety of employers."

Part of Roy's inspiration for joining the team was his experience with his brother. Craig, who died from pneumonia aged 54 in 2019, had cerebral palsy.

Roy added: "He was an absolute joy and such an inspiration.

"A lot of the time he was in pain with his disabilities and it was upsetting but he had so many abilities.

"My family and I focused on what he could do instead of what he couldn't.

"I thought I could be doing that for people who have Down's syndrome, recognising what their skills are and promoting them.

"They have a lot of abilities and we all need to focus on those because they have a lot to offer."

Roy was already involved with the WorkFit programme when he worked for Wiltshire Police.

He helped get Luke into his dream job working for the police. Luke initially started as a volunteer but now works on a permanent paid contract as an administrator in the crime and communications centre for Wiltshire Police

Roy first became involved when he attended a coffee morning with Swindon Down's Syndrome Group and felt saddened by the barriers candidates said they faced.

He said: "It was really quite sad but also really frustrating and I didn't understand why it was so hard for them to get into work.

"Wiltshire Police wants to represent the community they serve by making the staffing more diverse. The force is open to employing everybody."

Roy's new role at SDSG involves supporting both employers and potential candidates through the process.

The jobs can be paid, volunteering, work experience and traineeships.

Only 5.1 per cent of people with a learning disability are in employment but over 90 per cent of WorkFit candidates are still in work one year after they started.

An online employer event for those who want to find out more about WorkFit will be hosted on March 3.