Learning Disability Today
Supporting professionals working in learning disability and autism services

New toolkit to help tackle 22% autism employment rate

A new employment resource has been launched to help young autistic people find work following the Covid-19 pandemic. 

The Transition to Employment toolkit was launched by the charities Ambitious About Autism and The Autism Education Trust and is designed to address the problem of autistic people falling out of education, employment or training when they leave school. 

The launch comes as the latest research shows that over 700,000 young people are currently not in employment, education or training, with autistic job seekers among the most disadvantaged.

The data has revealed that just 22% of people with autism are in full-time paid employment, the lowest of all disabled groups. 

The toolkit includes resources for employers, career professionals, and young autistic people themselves

Autism is commonly misunderstood, which can have an impact on autistic people’s ability to thrive in educational settings as well as in the workplace. For example, too many verbal instructions (which are not written down) can be overwhelming for somebody who is autistic. 

The new toolkit has therefore been designed to support those working with young autistic people, in order to better understand their needs and aid them in getting on the job ladder or into further training or education programmes. 

The Transition to Employment toolkit includes resources for employers, career professionals, and young autistic people themselves, including templates to help professionals understand young people’s skills, experience, career goals and ambitions. 

It also includes tips to help people prepare for job interviews and information to support employers working with autistic people. All the resources are free to download, edit and adapt from Ambitious about Autism’s website

“More employers are recognising the benefits of the diverse and unique talents autistic young people can offer”

Sarah Broadhurst, Director of the Autism Education Trust, said: “As the number of children diagnosed with autism is rising, the number of autistic young people entering the job market is increasing, too. They are full of aspirations and have big plans for the future, as all young people do, but very often encounter difficulties during their first steps into employment because recruitment processes are not catering for their different skills and needs.

“This fantastic new resource gives practical help and tools to employers, post-16 professionals and young people for every step of the way from preparing an employee profile all the way to post-placement evaluation. Thankfully, more and more employers are recognising the benefits of the diverse and unique talents autistic young people can offer. We hope this document will help them support many more autistic young people to fulfil their aspirations.”

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