Worcestershire County Council and Fortis Living, have joined forces with CIPD Gloucestershire and CIPD Hereford and Worcester to host an event to encourage the recruitment of people with Autism.
The event will include a ‘drop in’ to enlighten employers on the benefits of having neuro diverse people working for them and what small adjustments are needed to help them thrive in their roles. The aim is to explore and showcase the different options and opportunities when employing adults with ASC. A number of local businesses who are taking part will share their experiences and highlight the benefits of employing people with the condition.
Neural diversity – or neurodiversity – describes those in the population who have a different thinking process than those who are neurotypical. The event aims to help bring about a better understanding of how this can be acknowledged and aided in workplaces as well as benefit productivity.
Both organisations are committed to offering employment opportunities for all; Worcestershire County Council has an Autism Strategy Partnership Board and Fortis Living a robust diversity and inclusion strategy.
It is estimated that there are around 700,000 people in the UK who live with autism and a significant proportion of them struggle with accessing the labour market due to lack of support and insufficient awareness about the spectrum. The cost to the national economy from not employing people on the autistic spectrum was estimated to be £25billion in 2009 and it’s likely to be more than £34billion now, according to recent studies.
Tom Piotrowski, Diversity and Inclusion Advisor at Fortis Living explained : “As a large local employer with a strong social purpose we are always looking for ways to promote social inclusion. This also means creating inclusive workplaces where people can thrive and realise their potential. We look forward to hearing from and meeting applicants who are on the autistic spectrum. We certainly recognise they have a lot to offer; like other employers on the day we will be talking about job opportunities within our business.”
A spokesperson for Worcestershire County Council said : “Our organisation greatly benefits from hiring people who have diverse thinking patterns. This is something we wholeheartedly support and are delighted to be teaming up with Fortis Living to run this important event. By sharing our experiences, we hope to encourage and inspire other businesses and organisations to do the same.”
The event will include both exhibitors – who employ or who are willing to employ people with autism - and speakers. Following on from the talks, there will be a question and answer session and plenty of opportunities for networking.
This is a free event. The event will take place at The Conference Suite, St John’s Campus at the University of Worcester Arena along Hylton Road; on site car parking is free. It is hoped that it will serve as an introduction and a reminder of National Autism Awareness Week which takes place between Monday 1 and Sunday 7 April.
Fortis Living is part of Platform Housing Group which provides more than 45,000 homes from Herefordshire in the West to the Lincolnshire coast in the East, and from the Derbyshire Dales in the North to the Cotswolds in the South.
For further information please contact Tom Piotrowski, Diversity and Inclusion Advisor at Fortis Living on 01905 670104.