The Test Centre Training raises awareness of Autism Acceptance Month

Just a third of autistic people are in any form of employment

The Test Centre Training raises awareness of Autism Acceptance Month
Photo: Bigstock

Autism Acceptance Month is an opportunity to raise awareness of the condition and promote acceptance of autistic people. For The Test Centre Training, it’s also a chance to celebrate autistic colleagues.

Des, a manager at The Test Centre Training, said: “Only 29 percent of autistic people are in any form of employment and there are around 700,000 autistic people in the UK.

“The vast majority of autistic people want to work and, if they’re in the right role and supported, they can be a huge asset to any business. From our experience, autistic people are able to focus intensely on a subject and in great detail.

“They can follow routines meticulously; all valuable skills to have in the automotive industry. We’ve found autistic people to be honest, ethical and have a strong work ethic. They always have different ways of looking at problems and thinking out of the box.

“By looking at their strengths and focusing on how to support them, managers can help them succeed and they are a great asset to the business.

Jake, one of the company’s recent recruits, started working at The Test Centre Training a few months ago. He wanted to share his experience in the hope of raising awareness and hope for people in a similar situation to him.

He said: “I really want to show people that I and other autistic people have a lot to offer employers, and are more than capable of succeeding than people think.

“I was unable to find a job after finishing school, but then The Test Centre Training offered me this opportunity through a family friend. I’d been applying for other roles but I did not receive any responses, and even if I had an interview, my anxiety was so bad, I just couldn’t communicate what I wanted to say.

“I felt no one understood me and no one really understood ways you can help someone with autism in an interview scenario. So, I was really pleased when this opportunity came up but also terrified.

“I’m really pleased to say the role is going very well. What’s really helped is having a great, supportive supervisor, particularly in the first few weeks of the role. My mentor has helped me to work on my social skills, which is an ongoing challenge for me, to manage my workload and make sure I didn’t feel overwhelmed.

“I like to follow a routine, and having scheduled tasks really helped me learn. If my routine does change, I need to prepare and my supervisor and the team understands this.

“I feel incredibly fortunate to be working with such a great group of people and because of this I only aim to work harder and give this role nothing but my best effort.”

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