Tees Valley-based charity, Daisy Chain Project is celebrating following the launch of its unique Autism Employability Summit on 16th November 2021.

The inspiring event, which has been made possible thanks to support from Players of People’s Postcode Lottery, is being hosted at The Dolphin Centre in Darlington. It is aimed at HR professionals, senior managers, and those with the ability to create change in relation to inclusion and diversity. Businesses are invited to come to support the organisation’s campaign to reduce the staggering employment gap that exists for autistic people.

In 2016 the National Autistic Society launched a campaign, urging the UK government to act to close the employment gap for autistic people. However, in the years since this campaign the number of autistic people in employment has dropped by 9% and in 2020 the Office for National Statistics reported that employment rates for autistic people are lower than for any other disability. Shockingly, almost 80% of autistic adults are unemployed.

Hayley Matthews, Head of Adult Services at Daisy Chain says, “The statistics present less of an employment gap for autistic people and more of an employment chasm. Employing neurodiverse individuals can bring bottom-line benefits for a business and there are so many businesses who are missing out. Our Autism Employability Summit will support businesses and organisations to enhance their access to autism talent by breaking down misconceptions around autism, shining a light the huge benefits of embracing a diverse workforce and empowering employers with the knowledge to create a culture of inclusion in their recruitment and workplace practices.

“Daisy Chain’s own Employability Programme, led by Wendy I’Anson, supports autistic individuals to thrive in the workplace and move on to paid employment in sectors they love. We can’t wait to share our experiences with local businesses at this event.”

The event boasts an array of fantastic speakers, from inspiring and successful autistic professionals to cutting edge employers who have adapted their practises to become more inclusive and have benefited as a result. Guests at the event will hear from Tony Waters – Health and Wellbeing Benefits Manager from Cummins; Pete Wharmby – autistic speaker, author and former secondary school teacher; Lee Corless – Autism and Inclusion specialist who developed one of the worlds leading autism at work programmes whilst working for JPMorgan Chase and Kelly Grainger – successful businessman and now autistic keynote speaker, trainer and co-founder of Perfectly Autistic, who formerly worked within senior sales roles (including PepsiCo and Merlin Entertainments), creating and leading sales teams.

For more information about the event and to book your free place, head to: http://employabilitysummit.eventbrite.co.uk