On the 2nd of April, the government launched a new review designed to boost the employment prospects of autistic people.
The Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, Mel Stride MP, has appointed Sir Robert Buckland KC MP to lead the review, considering how the Government can work with employers to help more autistic people realise their potential and get into work.
Autistica reports that 3 in 10 autistic adults are in work, but many more want to work and have a lot to offer companies. The review will ask employers, support groups and autistic people to help identify the barriers to securing and retaining work. Buckland commented, “If we close the employment gap for autistic people, it will not just mean individual fulfilment but a significant boost to employment and productivity for our country.” Other issues that will be covered include: working practices or initiatives to reduce stigma, how employers identify and better support autistic staff and what more could be done to prepare autistic people at the beginning of their careers and those returning to work.
Our Senior European Consultant David Avellaneda who has experience working within mental health facilities with patients with ASC gave us his insights on this new initiative.
“I think it is a great start for the government to review this. However, it is imperative they understand that Autism is a spectrum, therefore what suits a person with this condition, may not suit another with the same condition.
ASC is a broad and complex condition, so making a “blanket rule” would likely be disadvantageous to the inclusivity of people with ASC. It is very important that employers are educated in this diagnosis as knowledge will bring awareness. Employers should also take time to get to know the person individually and through this process, support the person in their goals and ambitions and in exchange they will bring unique skills and different perspectives to the workplace. We must remember that its not just accommodating to their needs but integrating them fully into the workplace taking into account their individual traits.
Through open communication, ongoing employer training and applying such training through the lens of valuing potential employees, the gap will begin to close for both parties.”David Avellaneda