Conference to Unlock Potential of People on Autism Spectrum Seeking Employment

A special event aimed at creating greater employment opportunities for people living with autism is set to take place in Wrexham early next year.

The Autism Future Employment Conference, which will be held on Friday 25th January 2019 at the Wrexham Enterprise Hub, will aim to empower local and regional businesses by highlighting the huge potential of neurodivergent talent in the workplace.

Wrexham’s Assembly Member, Lesley Griffiths, was recently invited to the Enterprise Hub in the town centre to meet with the event’s organisers, Steve Jarvis – a lecturer in Game Art at Wrexham Glyndwr University – and Pete Rogers, Community Assistant at the Wrexham Enterprise Hub.

As well as inviting autistic individuals and their families, the event will encourage a range of businesses, professionals and organisations to participate.  Attendees will be able to discuss employment, careers and life-changing opportunities, with businesses already benefiting from the autistic talent pool on-hand to offer their experiences.  Work will also be done to identify the support businesses can access to help break down barriers.

There are over 700,000 people in the UK who are on the autism spectrum, however, only 16% of autistic adults are estimated to be in full-time paid work, according to the National Autistic Society.

It is hoped the Autism Conference will help address the imbalance and a number of local affiliates and sponsors have already signed up, including AVOW, Business Wales, Glyndwr University and the National Autistic Society.

After meeting with Steve and Pete, Lesley Griffiths AM is keen to raise awareness of the upcoming conference. She said: “I am certain many neurodivergent people could flourish in employment and develop successful careers if given the right support.”

“The Autism Conference is an excellent initiative that will gather together a range of people to network and share best practice, ultimately helping bridge the gap between potential talent for the jobs and employment opportunities.”

“Steve and Pete are organising an event that could make a big difference to the lives of local residents living with autism.  There is already significant interest but I hope even more individuals, businesses and organisations sign up to attend.”

Conference organiser, Steve Jarvis commented: “Businesses around the world are seeing a growth of up to 50% year on year by utilising and building a Neurodivergent workforce.  However, there is still a long way to go to ensure everyone is treated equally in the workplace.  Only 16% of autistic adults are estimated to be in full-time paid work, according to the National Autistic Society.  More often than not it’s only slight adjustments that are required for a business to utilise skills such as attention to detail, adherence to patterns, the aptitude to repeat tasks and loyalty.”

“Our conference is designed to show employers the wealth of talent that is out there – and the benefits to their business from employing neurodivergent people.”

“It’s time to start seeing the ability, not the disability”

For more information and to register for the Autism Conference, click here