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Charity spearheads campaign to encourage firms to recruit adults with autism

A charity, which offers support services to families and individuals affected by autism, is spearheading a campaign to encourage employers to recruit adults with autism.

Daisy Chain, in Norton, Stockton-on-Tees, wants businesses to became more autism aware in their recruitment processes by educating employers that autistic adults can bring a lot of positive traits to a workplace.

The charity has received support from People’s Postcode Lottery to further develop its employability service, with its experts working closely with businesses by providing advice and support.

Daisy Chain also offers young adults affected by autism the opportunity to tap into a range of courses and workshops to prepare them for the world of work.

Hayley Matthews, head of adult services at Daisy Chain, said: “We are determined to help people with autism achieve their full potential and demonstrate that with the right help and support they can be an asset to companies.

“Paid employment is the ultimate goal, but work placements, taster days and training sessions also can be beneficial and make a real difference to autistic adults’ lives.

“Post-COVID there will be more people in the jobs market and, therefore, those with autism run the risk of getting lost in the interview and application process.

“We understand that taking on someone with autism can be seen as daunting by some employers, but our employability team is there to help overcome any barriers and make the process and subsequent employment as smooth as possible.

“Such recruitment can widen a workforce’s range of diverse talents and skills as autistic adults’ positive attributes can be a real asset with the right help, which Daisy Chain can provide.”

Young adult George Farr is one person who has benefited from Daisy Chain’s collaboration with companies. He works at Cummins Business Services in Darlington as an employee benefits administrator in the HR Shared Services Department, where he sorts invoices for various employee benefits, such as checking and approving cycle to work schemes and processing the invoices for payment.

George said: “With Cummins and Daisy Chain working together, as charity partners for a number of years, it has allowed the support to be put in place to enable me to prove that I can work comfortably and interact socially, within the work place environment.”

The 19-year-old added: “All I want is to feel accepted and to have a future career in a workplace that will accept me. I am intelligent and a hard worker and just want the opportunity to show what I can do. Cummins, with the help of Daisy Chain, has enabled me to do this.”

Tony Waters, manager of the team George works on, said: “As an organisation, it is very important to us that we are inclusive and offer opportunities to everyone. Being able to offer George a year-long work placement with us was something we were very passionate about, and are thankful for Daisy Chain’s help and support along the way.

“George is a valued member of our team and does a great job each day. George’s commitment to his role has also inspired us to explore other opportunities to offer employment to young adults on the spectrum and we couldn’t have done with without Daisy Chain’s knowledge and guidance.

“As a responsible employer, we wanted to create a level playing field in our organisation in which autism talent is given the platform to shine. These candidates have a great work ethic, are dedicated to their role, and have a wonderful variety of skills. We are thrilled with the service provided by Daisy Chain, and the commitment shown by George, and are looking forward to offering new opportunities when we can”

Are you an employer and interested in finding out more about how your organisation can become autism aware, or are you living with autism and looking for support in gaining employment, then contact Daisy Chain on 01642 531248 for more information.

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