At Specialist Autism Services we understand the barriers individuals on the autism spectrum face when looking for and maintaining suitable employment.
We have developed a range of tried and tested programmes of support to address these barriers to employment, and empower individuals to make progress towards their work related goals.
Making a difference
Our employment support is member-led, person-centred and takes individuals strengths and abilities, as well as specific support needs into account.
We also work with employers directly and welcome interest and contact from local employers needing advice and support to fine tune their recruitment and working practises to be more inclusive and Autism friendly.
Employment Focused Workshops
Our workshops provide opportunities for individuals to develop work based social skills and communication skills to become more confident in the workplace.
Our employment focused workshops are member-led, which means workshop members decide from a range of employment-related topics and activities in order to meet shared learning and development needs.
The employment team will support you throughout the entire employment process starting with identifying your employment goals, writing your CV, job applications, attending interviews, and any difficulties that may arise during employment.
Workshops are delivered at a pace and with resources that suit each individuals needs. Members attending workshops are not expected or pressured into contributing any more than they are comfortable with.
Highly Trained Staff
Practical support from experienced staff, who understand autism, is provided to enable individuals to work towards their chosen employment goals through meaningful social skills workshops and 1:1 employment support. Members of the employment programme can take part in activities that focus on gaining and maintaining employment, and how autism may affect this.
Our Employment Officers are experienced in providing autism specific tailored 1:1 support for individuals progressing towards employment. This support differs from person to person, but can be utilised to identify personal strengths and skills. We also help individuals to explore career aspirations, develop job search skills, identify appropriate job roles available and liaise with employers. This includes creating good quality CVs and cover letters, practise interview skills, complete application forms, and support attending interviews.
Work Orientation Visits
Our employment focused workshops regularly engage with their local communities and attend supported Work Orientation Visits with local employers.
From this individuals develop insight into a range of local working environments and develop confidence communicating with employers.
Work Orientation Visits
We offer a range of additional support related to employment:
Our employment focused workshops regularly engage with their local communities and attend supported Work Orientation Visits with local employers in order to develop insight into a range of local working environments and develop confidence communicating with employers.
Before people join our employment workshops or move forward to work or volunteering, we can help people get used to the journey they need to take so they can travel with confidence.
We can help workshop members develop basic IT skills such as creating Word documents, sending emails, and effective and safe use of the internet.
We can help workshop members calculate how taking work will affect them financially.
Supporting both employee and employer with understanding reasonable adjustments, signposting and support to register with ‘access to work’ and support with understanding work-related documents.
Our employment focused workshops cover topics around social skills and social situations in the workplace, such as learning how to manage working with difficult people, including strategies. Our sessions offer opportunities to practice these essential social skills to support and prepare individuals for work life.
In line with our strategic aims, we are committed to developing projects across Yorkshire that provide meaningful employment experience for adults with autism, alongside our direct support provision.
We have launched a number of social enterprise initiatives that do just that.
“Specialist Autism Services employment support has increased my confidence dramatically. I no longer feel my condition is a barrier to employment. I now feel able to contribute to society in a positive way.”
Our Employment Programmes
Below you will find our range of employment programmes. Although they all provide similar levels of support, they are funded differently and have different requirements.
Employment Hub Mental Health Programme
This programme supports young people aged 15 to 24 from across Leeds and Bradford who are not in education, employment or training, in an Autism specific way, tailored to their individual needs.
The programme is part funded through the European Social Fund and is aimed at supporting Leeds and Bradford residents into employment, education and or training. The programme is managed by Leeds City Council in partnership with City of Bradford Metropolitan District Council.
The Employment Hub will feature Autism specific support and workshops run by the Specialist Autism Services Employment Team in both Bradford and Leeds, exploring the next steps of your journey into employment, education or training.
The Calderdale Hub is funded by the Calderdale Council. Individuals need to have or are seeking a diagnosis of autism.
Inspiring Employment is funded by the Bradford Council. Individuals need to have or are seeking a diagnosis of autism.
If you are interested in our employment support programmes, please complete our online enquiry or referral form, or contact us for more information.