In 2010 addressing the needs of people with autism was recognised as a national priority.

There are around 700,000 people in the UK who have Autism ( a solid figure cant be obtained due to long waiting lists for diagnosis  – up to 3 and a half years for children and up to five years for adults.)

Only 16% of those adults  are in full-time paid employment, and only 32% are in any kind of paid work (National Autistic Society)

There are 1.5 million people with a learning disability in the UK but just 6 % of adults known to their local authority in England are in paid work (HSCIC 2015)

Not everyone with Autism or a Learning Disability will be able to obtain work but we believe that everyone should have the best chance possible of doing so.

In 2016, AutismAble carried out a survey 100 students who attended  Post-16, Specialist Education Provision in South Tyneside

The first question on the survey was “Do you want to work?”   99 of the responses came back as a Yes.

This initial survey prompted a second piece of work titled ‘We Want Work’, (later renamed by the learners to “You’ve got this! Link here and a commitment at board level to help improve employment opportunities for people with Autism and / or Learning Disabilities in the South Tyneside Area.   Since 2016 , we have ran Employment programmes via Education

Courses for learners aged 16-25 with and Educational Health Care Plan and provided Employment Support to adults over 25 through work placement and individualised support plans.

To be successful, a strategy needs to carefully plan effective change from where things are now to where we would like things to be.

The AutismAble board and staff team are very passionate about helping to provide sustainable employment for the people who we support.

Here are some of the things that we are currently doing:

• Leading by example by employing people with Autism and Learning Disabilities within our own organisation

• AutismAble have a Designated Staff Member who coordinate’s  Work Placements and Employment Partnerships

• Ensuring that training courses have successful outcomes  with clear progression towards Employment

• 97% of learners  who complete training with AutismAble achieve a positive outcome towards employment  (progressing to Further Education, Paid Employment, Traineeship, Apprenticeship or Volunteering)

• Early Adoption of the Gatsby Principles for Career Progression via the NELEP


• AutismAble have a Designated Board Member who attends and contributes to all South Tyneside Sub-Group for Learning Disabilities Employment meetings

• AutismAble have a Designated staff Member who attends attends and contributes to all South Tyneside Council’s Employment (Autism and Learning Disabilities) Steering Group meetings

• Held a Theory of Change Workshop where we invited 50 individuals with Autism to attend to help shape our services and Employment programme.

• Collaborated with South Tyneside Council and led on an Outstanding Teaching and Learning Project funded through the Education Training Foundations to better improve employment opportunities for people with Autism by using digital approaches Link here

• Contributing  to a new Café Business called Sea-Change which will provide training and  paid employment opportunities to people with Autism.

• Ensuring that at least 40 % of our governing board is made up by people with Autism or parents of those with Autism.

• Commitment from  several work placement partners to work alongside our organisation and South Tyneside Council in providing substantial Industry Placement periods during Study Programme Courses.

• Provision of discounted Autism Awareness Training to fellow third-sector organisations

• Provision of FREE Autism Awareness training to Work Placement Partners.

• Provision of Individualised support plans and reasonable workplace adjustments assessments to help Work Placement partners better support learners.

• AutismAble are keen to speak to any individuals, organisations, commissioners or other partners who are passionate about improving Employment opportunities for people with Autism and Learning Disabilities.

 Please see our partnerships page

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