Local MSP Gil Paterson is highlighting the National Autistic Society Scotland’s Moving Forward programme which works with young people who are on the autistic spectrum to help them develop skills for the workplace, gain confidence in social interaction and take positive steps to finding employment.
The programme is funded by the Scottish Government's CashBack for Communities initiative which takes money seized from criminals under the proceeds of crime legislation and uses it to help young people in need across Scotland.
Over the next three years the National Autistic Society Scotland aims to support 300 young people aged between 16 and 24 who have a diagnosis of autism using a flexible, person centred pathway. Mentoring is a key element of that pathway, matching young people who are furthest from employment with Volunteer Mentors.
Speaking about the programme, Mr Paterson said;
"The Moving Forward programme is a fantastic initiative and a great way to use money seized from criminals to make a really positive impact on the lives of young people who have autism.
"Statistics show that finding some kind of paid employment is especially difficult for people with autism so it is right that we offer them extra support. I would urge any young person in Clydebank who has autism and is struggling to find work to get in touch with the National Autistic Society.
"Equally, I would say to employers, if you think you could help a young person with a diagnosis of autism by taking part in the Moving Forward programme, then do contact the NAS Scotland. Your participation could make all the difference to a young person."
The National Autistic Society Scotland aims to close the autism employment gap, the charities research found that just 16% of autistic adults in the UK are in full-time paid work and only 32% of autistic adults are in some kind of paid work, compared to 47% of disabled people and 80% of the general population. The charity takes a two-pronged approach, supporting autistic people to find work and helping employers to ensure that autistic people succeed in post.
If you, or someone you know, could benefit from the Moving Forward programme or you are a business interested in learning more then please do get in touch by phoning 0141 248 1725 or emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.