When QPP, a plastics recycling firm, needed a new operative they decided to do something a bit different. They employed Mark, a young man with Aspergers.
QPP had never before employed anyone with autism or a learning disability. But, Mark had a working interview where he showcased his abilities and they were so impressed with his willingness to learn and work they offered him the position.
They didn’t do this as a social responsibility exercise but because he was the best man for the job.
This is not Mark’s first job, but it is the first that looks like being a success. Previous employment has broken down because Mark’s Aspergers manifests as a severe lack of confidence, prompting him to walk out when things get tough.
But, armed with coping strategies from his Dimensions Job Coach, Mark gets on famously with his new bosses. His Job Coach gave his managers specific advice and guidance so they are able to spot any warning signs and address problems head on.
Although most people with autism and learning disabilities want to work, fewer than 10% manage to do so. That’s why our Supported Employment service is so critical.
A dedicated Job Coach works with both the employer and the prospective employee, ensuring both parties are prepared for what lies ahead. The Coach remains available for the duration of the individual’s employment but aims to “fade out” over a period of time as the working relationship becomes normalised.
For Mark himself, the job has been transformational. After his last job fell through he spent six months in bed and had to sign on for benefits. But now he’s much happier working and earning his own money.