auticon and Jigsaw Partner to Boost Employment Opportunities for People on the Spectrum.

auticon has teamed up with disability employment experts Jigsaw to design a training and development pipeline and workplace integration model to boost the employment of people on the autism spectrum. This 12-month pilot program will see successful candidates enter an apprenticeship to become IT consultants within the auticon talent pool.

Sydney, Australia — (19 October 2020) — Today, auticon and Jigsaw have come together with the belief that everyone has the ability to fit into the bigger picture. The two organisations have constructed a recruitment, training and apprenticeship program to increase the rate of employment of people on the autism spectrum.

Prior to the pandemic the unemployment rate for people with autism spectrum disorders was 34.1%, more than three times the rate for people with disability and almost eight times the rate of people without disability. Since unemployment has increased during the pandemic it is likely this situation has become worse.

The critical difference with this program, it not only seeks to find employment for people on the autism spectrum, but it delivers job readiness training, against a framework of 20 employment competencies. The 12-month, 5-step pilot program will commence with training at Jigsaw and will finish at auticon with 5 full-time IT consultants securing work in cybersecurity, testing and software engineering projects in some of Australia’s most prestigious companies.

Josh Braico, who is current being trained in Jigsaw Academy, is working towards being one of the first apprentices in the auticon program, “I’m really excited to be part of this new program. As someone who has focused on their education and found it difficult to get a start in the workforce the partnership between Jigsaw and auticon has given me a clear pathway into the workforce. The training offered by Jigsaw and working with an employer like auticon who understands autism, offers and amazing opportunity”

auticon Managing Director and CEO, Bodo Mann commented on today’s announcement, “I’m looking forward to this partnership and working closely with the team at Jigsaw. In recent months we have worked together to establish our talent pipeline strategy, today’s agreement concludes that work and we’re excited to be welcoming more autistic IT professionals to auticon in the short-term.”

Mann also discussed the importance of providing the right support network in order to realise the value of autistic teams over the long-term, ”It’s important to understand that auticon is not a recruitment company, nor are we a charity. auticon employs talented team members on a full-time basis and provides a unique support and coaching model focusing on technical, professional and mental dimensions. This enables our consultants to perform at the highest level and deliver significant value to our clients.”

“As an organisation we pride ourselves having a dual purpose, we’re built around delivering tangible value to business while at the same time having a significant social impact.”

Paul Brown, CEO of Jigsaw Australia remarked, “We need to focus our efforts on building innovative models to connect people with disability with meaningful mainstream employment. To do this, we need to be hands on in providing valuable experiences and integrating people with disability into the workplace. At Jigsaw we believe that people prepare best for work, through work.”

“We are excited to work with auticon, a global employer that understands autism and the valuable contribution of those on the spectrum.”

“As almost one third of the people on the NDIS are on the autism spectrum. This pilot program offers a model for significant future growth in employment opportunities for autistic people right across the country. We look forward to rolling this model out to our hubs in Sydney, Brisbane and soon to be Melbourne, Adelaide, Canberra and Perth.”

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