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News article

Improving employment prospects for young adults on the autism spectrum

Published: 01 June 2017

  •   Community
  •    Staff
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The workshop is for employers, specialist employment services, Further Education and Higher Education staff, young autistic adults and parents.

With just 16% of autistic adults in full time paid work, students on the autism spectrum are the least likely to gain graduate-level employment.  Despite having the skills, talents and capabilities to be successful, many young autistic graduates find getting a job very difficult. Local employers, employment services and FE/HE staff could be an important part of the solution. The outcomes of the workshop will inform the content of an on-line toolkit for both autistic students leaving university and also employers seeking to become more autism-friendly.

Taking place on 16 June 2017, the event will provide opportunities to learn more about the challenges and successes of employing an autistic graduate and build networks across different sectors in York and the region. Running across the day, the workshop will include discussion around workplace adjustments, disclosure, interviews and recruitment among other issues.   

PRO Autism is a new group focused on improving employment opportunities and prospects for autistic students leaving university. It is a participatory project run by autistic and non-autistic people from York St John University and across York, including United Response, the National Autistic Society and York Parent Carers’ Forum. The group has received a Social Innovation Grant, which is a York St John University project that enlists the help of local businesses and organisations in funding social enterprise initiatives carried out by students.

Jonathan Vincent, Lecturer, School of Education, York St John University said; “PRO Autism stands for Prospects, Recruitment and Opportunities. We are a small but varied group of people in York who are committed to identifying positive steps towards better employment opportunities for young autistic adults leaving Further and Higher Education.

"We believe that in order to bring about real and lasting change, all the stakeholders in the process must be involved. The focus of the day is to learn from each other and work collaboratively to identify the best practices for enabling successful employment for autistic adults and to use this information to build an online toolkit for others to use.”

To find out more about the group and the event please visit

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