Since launching the Undiscovered Workforce campaign in March, a number of Ambassadors and Champions have successfully worked with their MPs to run local events to raise awareness and increase number of people with autism in employment.
The cooperation between passionate campaigners, interested local MPs, local authorities, charities, Jobcentre Plus and crucially, major employers is at the very heart of this campaign.
What's happened so far
In Leeds our ambassador Penny has joined forces with her local MP Rachel Reeves. A combination of Penny's enthusiasm and Rachel's political leadership mean that the Council is taking notice. There is an employment sub-group of the autism partnership board and a big one-day conference is being held next year to bring together big local companies, Jobcentre Plus and people with autism looking who need support to thrive at work.
In Derbyshire, another of our dedicated Ambassadors, Ann, has engaged her local MP Heather Wheeler. They have got together to engage with the local Chamber of Commerce and leading employers based in the area. Ann is also working closely with her local authority, which is planning to employ someone with autism in the next few months.
In Suffolk, activities were spearheaded with the support of Waveney MP Peter Aldous, who spoke at a local Jobcentre Plus event, along with the NAS, the National Apprenticeship Service, and Lowescroft College. Suffolk County Council now has funding to hold employment events in the county in partnership with the NAS.
Have you contacted your local MP about the Undiscovered Workforce? Would you like to help create more opportunities and support for people with autism to find sustainable work? Take action here http://www.autism.org.uk/undiscoveredworkforce