Section 6: Know how to support individuals with employment

Q20: Identify barriers that people with autism may face in gaining employment. (6.1)
An individual with autism may face barriers in gaining employment. This can be due to the social and communication difficulties they struggle with on a day to day basis, it may be difficult to get through a job interview or do a job where constant communication is required. Their sensory needs may stop them from doing something they want to do due to the volume or feel of being in the place. Anxiety and stress may also crop up, especially if they have had negative experiences with being in the workplace, applying for jobs or during job interviews, and this can cause them to instantly feel uneasy when within a new situation. New work colleagues can be incredibly stressful to deal with, as well as the new routine. Despite employers having to put reasonable adjustments in place, this can still affect the speed of the work completed and can stress other employees if they do not understand. There have also been funding cuts to support an individual and give advice and support so they may not get all the support they need whilst in employment.

Q21: Describe how individuals can be supported with: (6.2)
a) Gaining employment
A care worker can support an individual with gaining employment by giving them examples and advice on what to wear and how to present themselves. If it is their first time at a job interview, or trying to gain employment, they may be unsure of themselves and knowing how others present themselves and the best way to do can be beneficial. Other ways can be advising the individual on what to expect, as well as the particular social conventions that go alongside interviews, supporting them in finding employers, providing support if interviews or searches are unsuccessful and helping them to market themselves in the best way possible.

b) Starting employment
When the individual has a job, it will still be important to continue the support. Support can range from more advice on managing the new routine, interacting with other individuals within the workplace, behavioural expectations and more. They can also support and be a way of contact for the manager if the individual struggles with communicating with the manager as well as ensuring the manager and the individual are aware of the rights of someone with autism.

c) Continuing employment
Continuing with employment the care worker may remain the point of contact as well as support them with any actions or issues that arise. They may also provide moral support if the individual becomes stressed or tired with the job and give them time to vent out their worries and concerns and support them by actioning them. They may also need to ensure there is a work life balance and if there are any concerns, ensure the relevant bodies are aware and can support them.

Q22: Identify organisations and agencies that support individuals with autism into employment. (6.3)
As well as a care worker, there are organisations and agencies that can support an individual with gaining employment. Statutory organisations and agencies that can support with this are The Department for Work and Pensions who can give advice and support finding employment through the JobCentre Plus and Schools and Further Education Colleges can organise the curriculum around functional employability skills and provide work placements to support students leaving school or college with relevant skills and experience. There are also specialist schools that aim to support this. Voluntary organisations that help individuals with autism get into employment are the National Autistic Society which provides practical support for individuals who are seeking employment and Prospects which are an organisation helping graduates of universities find jobs regardless of their additional needs.