Fully funded internships for students with autism

29 October 2020‌

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GCU is a proud beneficiary of Employ Autism a new programme delivered in partnership with charity Ambitious About Autism. Thanks to support from Santander Universities, students and graduates with autism will now have the opportunity to access fully funded internships, with tailored support and training provided to both interns and employers.

Latest research has found that autistic graduates are the least likely of all disabled students to find employment following their studies – with only 33% in full-time work. This new programme aims to tackle this issue by ensuring autistic students and graduates have access to meaningful employment experience. It will also ensure businesses can benefit from neurodiverse talent within their workforces.

Over the course of the programme key GCU staff will receive specialist training and support from Ambitious about Autism to work specifically with autistic students, helping to guide them into sustainable employment. Students will receive support to identify roles that match their skills and given help with the application and recruitment process, which often needs to be adapted to allow autistic young people to shine. Local employers will receive training and support to create opportunities for these students to take part in internships with autism-confident businesses, providing them with valuable ‘on the job’ experience in a supportive environment.

Chief Executive of Ambitious about Autism, Jolanta Lasota, said: “Autistic students and graduates are among our brightest talents and yet too many face a much more challenging path into long-term employment than their neurotypical peers. Through our fantastic new partnership, Santander will be at the forefront of a nationwide drive to change this and transform the neurodiversity of our workforce. We will equip universities with the skills and knowledge to support these students into careers that match their talents with employers who can embrace difference.

Companies looking to boost diversity within the workplace and benefit from the diverse set of skills autistic students have to offer can now register their interest in being involved in the programme by emailing foundation@gcu.ac.uk.