Tuesday, 12 June 2012

Cambridge MP Huppert Backs Campaign To Help People With Autism Find Work


A national campaign to help people with autism find work is being backed by Cambridge MP, Julian Huppert.

Julian, who employs a young man with an autism spectrum condition part-time in his Cambridge constituency office, is supporting the National Autistic Society Undiscovered Work Force campaign.

The campaign aims to increase the employment rates among people with autism after research showed that that only 15 per cent of adults with autism nationally are in full-time employment and 9 per cent are in part-time employment.

MPs are asked to act as advocates for unemployed people with autism in their constituencies, bringing together local employers, people with autism, the local authority and other community services to raise awareness.

Julian has written to Cambridge City Council and Cambridgeshire County Council to find out the steps both authorities are taking to offer employment to people with autism.

He has also contacted Swaffham Bulbeck charity, Red2Green to find out how he can support the campaign.

He said he is encouraged by the work Red2Green has been doing across Cambridgeshire through its Aspirations life skills programme which helps people with autism spectrum conditions, such as Aspergers, to cope in everyday situations.

Red2Green also offers training to service providers and former Cambridge City Council Leader, Sian Reid included the city council on its training programme.  

Julian said: “People with autism spectrum conditions often struggle to make sense of the world around them and this can lead to anxiety and isolation. But with understanding and help they can draw huge benefits from the working environment and become valuable members of staff.

“The research carried out by the National Autistic Society shows, however, that these people are not being given the opportunities in the workplace. This is hugely detrimental, not only to the person suffering from autism but also for companies who are missing out on valuable workers.

“Many people with autism spectrum conditions are highly intelligent and have achieved a high level of education; leaving them unemployed without the opportunity to play an active part in the working environment means we are all missing out on the contribution they could make.”