Sunday, 14 April 2024
Sunday, 14 April 2024

Hft welcomes review into autism employment

Hft, the learning disability charity, has welcomed the Buckland Review on Autism Employment, which puts forward concrete recommendations to ensure that work is accessible to and inclusive of, autistic people.

Steve Veevers, Hft’s CEO said:

“In particular, it is pleasing to see supported internships highlighted as a route into employment.

“As a partner of Project SEARCH, we are aware of the transformative impact that supported internships can have, having supported 309 graduates through this pathway since 2013.

“However, it is important to take this opportunity to highlight that a substantial learning disability employment gap exists too. At present, 4.8% of learning disabled adults are in paid employment – decreasing from 6.0% in 2014/15 – representing a 70.7% gap against the 75.5% employment rate of the general population.

“The Government’s announcement in November last year of a £2.5bn investment programme to encourage people back to work from long-term sick leave, although helpful, is not new money to support these recommended pathways. What we instead need to see is specific, targeted support for learning disabled adults, helping them on their way to, and throughout, their working lives.

“Highlighting barriers to employment faced by learning disabled adults is a key focus of our influencing plan, Voices for Our Future. We want to see the Government use the same resource and effort to examine the experiences of learning disabled adults and begin to take steps towards a world where they have an equal opportunity to earn a fair wage in a job they enjoy.”

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