It is estimated by the National Autistic Society that there are around 700,000 people on the autism spectrum in the UK, of those, just 16% of autistic adults are in full-time, paid employment.
To help increase employment rates within the neurodiverse community, DMA Talent is leading a Neurodiversity Initiative. This aims to help businesses learn how to become more ‘neurodiverse friendly’, ensuring they are able to choose from a wider talent pool and seek out the most capable individuals for their roles.
Neurodiversity isn’t a new concept but research and best practice in the public domain remains limited.
Neurodiversity is essentially a collective term used to describe people who think differently to the majority and is often used in relation to neurodevelopmental conditions such as ADHD, dyslexia, dyspraxia and autism – to name a few.
DMA Talent have the support from several leading experts that are able to help spearhead this initiative.
The lead trainer for the initiative, Matthew Trerise, who has 15 years’ experience working with individuals on the autism spectrum, will be leading the training workshops throughout the UK.
Since 2009, he has worked in a specialised NHS diagnostic service to help develop their post diagnostic support programme and provided training and advice to services across the care pathway and businesses. He has advised multiple employers, including HMRC, on alterations they should make to their recruitment procedures and working environment to be ‘neurodiverse friendly’.
What is the initiative doing to help?
DMA Talent are hosting training workshops in cities across the UK – including London, Manchester, Bristol and Edinburgh. Matthew discusses a number of recommendations during his sessions that businesses can implement to reform some of their recruitment procedures and working conditions.
“It’s important to remember that when considering what changes you should implement within your organisation, in order to be more welcoming to a diverse talent pool, this means doing what is best for your employees. The adjustments I tend to recommend are those that would benefit everyone, not just neurodiverse individuals. Generally speaking, the majority of people profit from clear communication, structure, and an enhanced working environment,” said Matthew Trerise, Autism Consultant and Training and Liaison Lead at NHS Bristol Autism Spectrum Service.
What are organisations hoping to achieve by attending the training workshops?
Organisations who attend are interested in gaining a greater understanding of neurodiversity. They are looking for guidance around adjustments they should make to ensure their business is both attractive to and reflects the needs of people from the neurodiverse community. This is most definitely an area where ongoing research and best practice needs to be developed – the discussion just needs a platform to be heard.
The Neurodiversity Initiative’s next steps
DMA Talent are due to run training sessions in February 2019 – please get in touch to register your interest!
Look out for DMA Talent’s Neurodiversity Initiative guidelines on the DMA website that will be published in late March 2019, for free recruitment and employment guidance on a number of conditions associated with neurodiversity such as autism, dyslexia, ADHD and more. A number of experts are set to feature, including Matthew Trerise, providing practical learning advice throughout.