Social enterprise creates IT roles for autistic adults at new Edinburgh base

A UNIQUE social enterprise helping to create roles in the tech sector for those on the autism spectrum has launched a new base in the Capital.

Tuesday, 12th February 2019, 6:05 pm
Updated Tuesday, 12th February 2019, 6:21 pm
In partnership with Royal Bank of Scotland, auticon UK, a unique social enterprise which exclusively employs IT consultants on the autism spectrum, has announced the launch of a new base in Edinburgh

Auticon, which only employs IT consultants living with autism, was founded in Berlin in 2011 and currently has one UK office in London, but has now agreed a tie up with the Royal Bank of Scotland to bring the project to Edinburgh.

The partnership will see three autistic people offered full-time permanent IT consultancy positions at their Gogarburn headquarters.

Auticon CEO Ray Coyle said he hoped the move will allow more workers on the spectrum the opportunity to get into skilled employment with local businesses and enterprises.

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Mr Coyle added: “Unemployment among autistic adults is a major issue in Scotland, so we are thrilled to be working with Royal Bank of Scotland to launch a new base for auticon in Edinburgh.

“Our goal is to offer sustainable, long-term employment to as many autistic individuals in Scotland as possible, and we are inviting any candidates with a background in tech to get in touch.”

He continued: “Auticon consultants offer market-leading services in tech and IT, and are incredibly popular with blue chips. Our partnership with Royal Bank of Scotland has paved the way to our launch in Edinburgh – and we are keen to grow our presence and work with major firms and SMEs across the country.”

Just 16 per cent of autistic people in the UK are in full-time employment, with figures showing that 77 per cent of people on the autistic spectrum who are receiving jobseekers benefits claim that they want to be in full time work, according to figures revealed in an ‘autism employment gap’ survey released by the National Autistic Society in 2016.

The study also found 60 per cent of employers were worried about getting support for autistic employees wrong, adding they did not know where to get information about supporting workers on the spectrum.

Auticon – founded in Berlin in 2011 – currently employ more than 150 autistic IT consultants worldwide and have been awarded funds from Richard Branson’s Virgin Group, the Ananda Social Venture Fund and the Esmée Fairbairn Foundation.

The company was the first autism-focused employment enterprise to go global, with a worldwide presence in France, Germany, Italy and the United States.

In the UK, its other clients include Linklaters, KPMG, Experian and GlaxoSmithKline.

RBS chief marketing officer and executive sponsor for the bank’s disability agenda, David Wheldon, said: “Royal Bank is committed to, and passionate about, building an inclusive bank for both our customers and our colleagues.”

He added: “We are here to serve customers well and this drives our commitment to a diverse and inclusive culture as we strive to make this a great place to work and a great place to bank. We are proud to be working with Auticon to help bring new employment opportunities to autistic adults in Scotland.”