By getting involved in Autism Exchange you will become a programme partner and gain the opportunity to build a diverse workforce, which is especially important to remain successful in today’s ever-changing and competitive business environment.
The key benefits you receive by becoming a partner include:
• Tailored training and support throughout the placement
• Support to make adjustments in your recruitment processes
• Access to a pool of diverse talent bringing added value to your business
• Ability to reflect the clients and communities you work with
• Association with a cutting-edge and award-winning programme promoting inclusion across your business
• Joint promotion and media opportunities
• Networking with other employers and policy makers.
These benefits deliver results with our current partners reporting…
88% feel better equipped to support someone with autism in the workplace.
94% are now confident working alongside autistic colleagues.
100% gained increased understanding of autism.
Below is a list of the frequently asked questions about the programme, click on the link to each area to find out more.
1. What is the time commitment?
Employers will need to complete the half-day training provided prior to the start of the placement. Additionally, commit time to reviewing the current internal recruitment and selection process, providing content for autism-friendly resources and any adjustments they may need to make to accommodate the young people at interviews and completing the work placements.
The work placements can run for two weeks to three months, depending on the employer. During the work placement each young person is required to have support from a line manager and a mentor.
69% of employers said there was no difference in on-boarding an autistic intern, and 94% said they felt more confident supporting an employee with autism in the workplace.
2. What training do we receive?
Every employer undertakes autism awareness training, delivered by our experienced professionals at Ambitious about Autism. The style and length of the training provided will depend on the number of placements you are offering, the number of employees you have and the overall needs of the business.
We ask that every line manager and mentor completes the half-day training. We also recommend the intern’s future colleagues and peers attend the training, so they know how to work successfully with a young person with autism.
3. How many young people do we need to offer work placements to over what time period?
This is decided on a case-by-case basis and depends on the size and capacity of the employer, and the range of opportunities available.
4. What is the financial commitment?
There are different tiers of involvement for employers from a short introductory experience to a full talent recruitment programme.
5. Who else is signed up to Autism Exchange?
We have already worked with lots of great employers form a variety of industries including:
- Civil Service
- Deutsche Bank
- SAP UK
- The & Partnership
- Kennedy Pearce
- Public Health England
- Health Education England
6. Who were the founding employers and what do they say about the programme?
The programme has been piloted in partnership with the Civil Service over the last three years with five departments, as well as with Santander and Deutsche Bank.
“We are delighted that the Autism Exchange Programme has been so successful and that it is now being rolled out to different organisations across the capital.
The Civil Service has certainly benefited from having the programme. Our people were able to build their knowledge and capability in working successfully with people with autism. Also, the hard work, dedication and enthusiasm showed by the participants over the last two years has been truly inspiring. It is also very rewarding to know that we have helped to start the careers of several young people with autism who may have never been given the chance before.” - Janet Hill, CBE, Programme Director, Civil Service Disability Inclusion Team.
7. What do the Government say?
The Minister for Disabled People, Work and Health, Sarah Newton, said: “The Autism Exchange programme clearly demonstrates that with the right training and support we can unlock the potential of young people with autism in the work place, while helping employers reap the benefits of a neuro-diverse workforce. Innovative schemes like Autism Exchange are hugely important as we strive to make workforces more inclusive and get one million more disabled people into work.”
Get in touch
We hope that we have answered all the questions you may have about the programme and hope you’re interested to get involved. You can do this by getting in touch with the Autism Exchange team by filling out the contact form or email directly at: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Alternatively, if your question has not been covered we will be more than happy to answer so please do not hesitate to get in contact.