20/03/2017 - 14:32

Targeting 20 jobs in 20 days

20/03/2017 - 14:32

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The Autism Association of WA is part way through its campaign to secure 20 positions for jobseekers with autism, and is calling for more prospective employers to get involved.

John Scott (left) with recent hire Jack Williams and Autism Association’s Russell Thomas.

The Autism Association of WA is part way through its campaign to secure 20 positions for jobseekers with autism, and is calling for more prospective employers to get involved.

Launched earlier this month, the ‘20 Jobs in 20 Days campaign’ seeks to find employment for people with autism and raise awareness of their abilities in the workforce.

Executive manager of the association’s AIM Employment program, Russell Thomas, said the campaign had so far secured three roles for its jobseekers and was currently in the process of securing five more.

“We have to somehow grab the attention of employers to at least consider someone with autism, even if that’s simply a work trial or work experience,” Mr Thomas told Business News.

“People with autism are underrepresented in the workforce in general, yet there has been enough research to show that they make really good employees in terms of their attention to detail, commitment, punctuality, low absenteeism and improving workplace morale.

“We have around 30 jobseekers currently and we’d like to find 75 per cent of them a job over the next 20 days.”

Mr Thomas said if the process took longer than 20 days, then the campaign would continue if necessary.

Local business Scott Print is one company that has got behind the campaign by hiring its third team member with autism.

Joint general manager John Scott said the business had partnered with the Autism Association for several years, and believed hiring through the AIM Employment Program produced results for business, government and the association.

“We get great workers, there’s less of a tax burden if people are working, and the association are seeing the success of their initiative – in reducing stigmas and creating bright futures for their customers,” Mr Scott told Business News.

“Currently we have Nathan, Jack and Elliot working for us, who all came across from the workplace program that Russell set in place.

“It goes right to the core of Scott Print’s social responsibility; but even better than that is the guys working for us are awesome and well loved by the team.”

Mr Thomas said the employer was also allocated an employment consultant, who acted as an account manager, to assist with government incentives, job-matching and job analysis, in order to ensure the employer and their new employee were looked after and had ongoing support.

“We also offer awareness training,” he said.

“And sometimes we help employers break jobs up so that people with autism are doing the part they really do well and someone else may do the other part of that job.”

The association has offices in Midland, Shenton Park, East Fremantle and Bunbury, and Mr Thomas is actively pursuing more opportunities with interested employers.

 

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