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85% of autistic people in Ireland are either unemployed or underemployed

Written by Robert McHugh, on 27th Apr 2022. Posted in Ireland

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At least 1 in 65 people in Ireland are autistic with 85% of that number either unemployed or underemployed. This is according to research commisioned by AsIAm, Ireland’s national autism charity.

Today, Orla Moran, General Manager of hiring platform IrishJobs.ie joined Adam Harris, CEO of AsIAm, to launch the ‘Same Chance Commitment’, which calls on employers to take the first step to creating an autism-friendly workplace. The initiative will encourage businesses to undertake a number of actions to help remove barriers for autistic people entering the workplace and to create more inclusive workspaces for Autistic people who are already in employment.  

Every employer who signs up to the ‘Same Chance Commitment’ pledges to:
• Develop more inclusive recruitment processes, which in turn creates more opportunities for Autistic people to access work experience, internships and longer-term job opportunities.
• Embed autism-friendly practices in how an organisation operates.
• Provide training for Autistic people to help them pursue jobs and develop their career within an organisation.
• Fully utilise the wide range of supports available, including the Same Chance toolkit, which was designed by AsIAm and IrishJobs to help organisations become autism friendly employers by equipping themselves with the information they need to help attract, hire, and retain autistic talent.
• Participate in the AsIAm and IrishJobs Community of Practice to promote and develop autism-friendly employment in Ireland.

AsIAm believe small accommodations by employers can remove barriers for Autistic people at work while unlocking skills and abilities which helps businesses gain the competitive edge and think outside the box. The organisation believes the pandemic has shown that it is possible to work differently with unprecedented opportunities to create inclusive workplaces.

Commenting on the initiative, CEO at AsIAm, Adam Harris said, "With a number of commitments that range from making their recruitment processes more inclusive to creating new opportunities for Autistic people to access work experience, internships and jobs and embedding autism-friendly practices, this ‘Same Chance Commitment’ is a critical step on the road to creating a more truly inclusive Irish economy and society."

General Manager at IrishJobs.ie, Orla Moran added, "This is a really important initiative for us as a company, and we hope that by working together with the team at AsIAm, we can make positive impact on the number of autistic people employed across Ireland. At IrishJobs, we are already supporting employers to achieve this with our Same Chance toolkit, which offers a step-by-step guide to becoming an autism-friendly employer. With today’s announcement we hope to make the journey for employers that bit easier by creating a dedicated pathway by which they can embrace diversity in its truest sense and create more inclusive working environments for Autistic people in Ireland."

Source: www.businessworld.ie

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