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Employee diversity in action as employers meet young people with Autism

Eight young people with autism or a learning disability got a chance to meet and discuss their future with 21 East Ayrshire employers over light lunch at the Burns Monument Centre, as part of an exciting new initiative being promoted by the Council’s Supported Employment Team who work within Economic Development.

Through Values into Action Scotland, a pilot project, the team is working to promote Modern Aprenticeship (MA) opportunities for ten young people.

Supported Employment has been successful for decades in supporting people with disabilities to find and keep paid employment.

There is a strong business case for employers taking on people with diverse needs and with the right support the arrangement can prove very successful for all parties. As a result of this latest initiative, four Modern Apprenticeship opportunities have now been offered to the candidates.

The Burns Monument Centre Meeting gave both employers and prospective employees a chance to meet and discuss possibilities in an informal setting, dispelling any misconceptions and allowing everyone to explore exciting opportunities.

Member for Skills and Learning, Councillor Stephanie Primrose commented: “Our Supported Employment team has a great track record for finding and sustaining solid job opportunities for people with additional needs. For employers it’s a win win situation. They gain well trained, hard working employees and are supported during the whole recruitment, selection and training process, while for the individual, the benefits of a well structured, supportive environment with the self esteem and economic independence which come from being a valued member of a workforce cannot be underestimated.”

“This new initiative, offering Modern Apprenticeships for people with autism is particularly exciting. We work with local employers to find the right individual for their business, providing one-to-one support while the person develops their skills and build their confidence in the workplace. We can also provide training for other staff members to help them understand the nature of the person’s disability and how they can best support them. At the end of the day it’s all about creating harmonious and successful work environments which can only bring benefit to our local economy and quality of life.”


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