Local MP supports employment campaign to get more adults with autism into work
Peter Aldous, MP for Waveney, held a meeting today, 30 May 2012, to try and encourage local organisations to support his efforts to get more adults with autism in the area into employment.
This follows The National Autistic Society’s (NAS) nationwide campaign, The Undiscovered Workforce, which calls upon MPs across the UK to work together with local authority services, as well as local businesses and employment providers, to improve job opportunities for people with autism in their own constituencies.
Mr Aldous spoke at the event along with representatives from the NAS, Jobcentre Plus, the National Apprenticeship Service, Waveney District Council and Lowescroft College.
For many, employment is a crucial factor in living a happy and independent life. However, NAS research indicates that only 15% of adults with autism are in full-time employment, despite the fact that 79% of those claiming out-of-work benefits told us they want to work. 26% of graduates with autism are unemployed, by far the highest rate of any disability group. One in 100 people living in Waveney has autism and it is therefore vital that more is done locally to support these adults into employment.
Mr Aldous said: “Many people with autism needlessly struggle to find and keep employment, not because they don’t have the skills or the drive, but because many employers don’t understand the benefits of employing someone with autism. I look forward to working with families in Waveney affected by autism as well as the council and local employers. I hope I can also count on the support of individuals and businesses in the area to get behind the NAS’ ‘Undiscovered Workforce’ campaign, and help make employment a reality for people with autism.
Mark Lever, Chief Executive at the NAS, said: “In the current economic climate, it is difficult for everyone seeking to enter the job market, but it is even harder for people with autism. We know that the vast majority of adults with autism in the UK want to work, but experience great difficulty in finding and staying in employment, often due to inadequate support and misunderstandings related to their condition.”
“With the right support, people with autism can overcome the barriers to work that they often face. Simple adjustments like making job interviews more accessible and providing support so that those in work understand the ‘unwritten rules’ of the workplace, can unlock the potential of a whole army of people ready and willing to work.”
For more information please visit http://www.autism.org.uk/undiscoveredworkforce