Autism Exchange offers young autistic people aged 16-25 the opportunity to develop their employability skills, gain valuable work experience and insight into their career future while completing a paid work placement with one of our partner employers.
By participating in the programme you can expect:
- To receive careers support in preparation for applying for a work placement including CV development
- Support with your application, interview preparation and during the interview process
- On-the-job training and support in a paid internship
- Receive pastoral support in the form of information, advice and guidance
- A work placement with trained employers so they know how to support people with autism and know the reasonable adjustments they can make
- Support with planning for the future by receiving careers support when the placement finishes.
Our current opportunities
Check out the work placements we are currently accepting applications for by clicking here. Alternatively, please register with us or you can email us directly at: email@example.com to be informed about future opportunities.
Below is a list of the frequently asked questions about the programme and work placement details, click the linked areas to find out more.
1. What are the benefits for young people?
- Skills development - employers will give you on-the-job skills development which is great for applying for paid work, and is brilliant for your CV!
- Increased confidence - many of the young people who take part report an increase in self-worth, feel more confident and ready to work.
- Brilliant experience - all of the young people who have taken part so far, say they would recommend the programme to others and many have made new friends.
2. What is the time commitment?
You will need to be available to:
- Complete the application form
- Attend an informal introductory meeting or interview with an employer
- Attend the work experience placement
- Provide feedback to Ambitious about Autism about your experience
3. Do I need to be at school, college or university to take part? If so, does my school, college or university need to join the programme if I do?
No. You do not need to be at school, college or university to take part.
If your school, college or university is not taking part in the programme, you can still apply. However, please do tell them about the programme. We would like as many schools, colleges and universities to become partners as possible.
4. Do you pay for travel expenses and subsistence during the placement?
Most of our placements are paid therefore, the employer will not cover travel expenses and subsistence. If the placement is unpaid, all of our partner employers make a commitment to cover reasonable travel expenses.
Employers do not pay for breakfast, lunch or dinner expenses, as they determine these fall outside of working hours. If you are working early in the morning or in the evening, for example, or if you are asked to attend an event, then employers should cover your expenses. This is decided by each individual employer.
5. Is it only for people who live in London?
At the moment, the programme mainly operates in London and the Home Counties. However, we hope to secure funding to enable us to expand the programme across the UK.
6. How old do I need to be to take part in the programme?
The Autism Exchange Programme aims to support young people as they make the move from education into employment. Therefore, we offer the programme to young people with autism aged 16-25.
7. Can I do the programme more than once?
You may apply for more than one opportunity however, there is no guarantee that you will be placed more than once.
8. What will happen to my benefits when I take part in the programme?
Most of our work experience placements are paid. If you have any questions about the impact of taking part in the programme, we would advise you to speak with the Department of Work and Pensions directly, as it will depend on your individual circumstances. You may find additional advice and support at Turn 2 Us.
9. How much will it cost me?
There is no cost to young people to take part in the Autism Exchange Programme.
10. What kind of employers work with you?
Young people complete work placements in many different departments in these businesses, from HR to finance to communications.
Here are some of the companies we have placed interns:
- Civil Service
- Deutsche Bank
- SAP UK
- The & Partnership
- Kennedy Pearce
- Public Health England
- Health Education England
11. How do I apply?
Check our current opportunities page on the work placement accepting applications and information on how to apply.
12. Will I get a job after taking part?
The future destination for every young person who takes part in the Autism Exchange Programme is different. For some young people, it might be further or higher education, for others it might be an apprenticeship or paid employment.
Some of the young people who have taken part in the programme have been offered paid employment after the placement, but we cannot guarantee this.
13. Can any employer take part?
We know that with the right support and opportunities, people with autism can achieve. We are looking to work with employers from all different sectors, who share our values and commitment to working with people with autism and disabilities.
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.