It is Autism Acceptance Week 28 March – 3 April 2022, and it is an event that matters to Northen Surveying Services as the business supports and celebrates neurodiversity. Around one in 100 people are Autistic, Just 22% of autistic people are in employment.
In 2019 Northen Surveying services teamed up with the University of Bristol Centre for Innovation and Entrepreneurship, to support a student project exploring ways to improve local employment opportunities for young Autistic people. The idea was to explore establishing a talent and training program to support young Autistic people to gain employment within our business and other employers.
Students were tasked with gaining insights from stakeholders and delivering solutions around barriers to successful employment in the West of England Combined Authority region for young people with a diagnosis of Autism or Asperger’s.
And now 4 years after the university project NSS Director Tara Northen is one of the founders of the CIC based on this research, Community Interest Company Inclusive Change At Work.
Their key project is to establish a supported work experience program for Autistic and other Neurodiverse young people. The 6 month pilot for the program starts in May 2022 and recruitment of Mentors is currently underway. The project has been funded by the National Lottery community fund and the Quartet Foundation to promote Neurodiversity in the workplace and build better inclusion of Autistic and other Neurodivergent young people and young adults to access work experience.
Tara said: “I am delighted after 4 years of planning and then putting on hold due to the pandemic the work experience program from Inclusive Change at work, begins to deliver services to support Autistic people aged 15-25 in the next two months.” For more information and to get in touch visit: Inclusive Change At Work
It is estimated that there are around 700,000 Autistic people in the UK. The aim of Autism Acceptance Week is to help more people understand what autism is, as well as the ways it can affect life for Autistic people. Find out more about the national awareness campaign