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Should autistic people be given extra assistance in job interviews?

The National Autistic Society (NAS) says employers should adjust their recruitment processes to help more people with autism into jobs

The National Autistic Society (NAS) charity said that 16 per cent of autistic adults are in full-time, paid employment and the Department for Work and Pensions said that it’s supporting businesses to recruit more autistic employees.

According to the latest figures from the NAS, 32 per cent of autistic people are in any form of paid work (full or part-time); that’s compared to 51 per cent of all disabled people (ONS, 2018).

An alarming number of employers, 60 per cent, said they wouldn’t know where to find advice or support to employ an autistic person.

BBC Radio 5 Live recently interviewed George Dobbie who is 32 and is autistic. He has worked for Allianz in their pet insurance customer service centre in Brentford since March 2016. Dobbie previously worked as a teaching assistant but struggled in a classroom environment.

George told BBC Radio 5 Live: “I got the job through an organisation called Seetec, which helps get disabled people into work. They saw call centre work at Allianz and they applied for me. They gave me loads of support – we did mock interviews and role play scenarios.”

“Because I’ve got autistic spectrum disorder I can’t deal with change, so if something pops up out of the blue, or maybe some change happens in the company: perhaps some new training, my body freezes and tenses up. I like this job because I know how to deal with the calls, and I like knowing what my day will involve.”

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