Leeds set for autism job fair

The Leeds Hidden Talents Employment Fair is happening on Wednesday 6th July at the St George’s Centre and will consist of a job fair for autistic people looking for work and a session for employers on autism awareness.

The event as a whole runs from 12.30pm to 4pm for businesses, where they can learn about what autistic people can bring to their respective workplaces. There’ll be a few talks and a panel consisting of employment experts to answer any questions you may have.

From 2.15pm onwards, there will be a job fair, with local employers from a variety of industries present. At these stalls, visitors can ask questions and find out about what sort of job opportunities are out there.

Learning about autism

Employers coming to the event are invited to attend a session before the job fair, where they can learn from a series of speakers who are experts in the topics of autism and employment. They can find out about the benefits involved in hiring autistic staff for their business.

Speakers will be followed by a panel, featuring autistic people who are in employment, recruiters and disability employment advisers from the DWP. Then, employers will have an opportunity to speak to autistic jobseekers and learn about what they want and need in relation to finding a job and taking the next step on the career ladder.

Shauna Purdey, Director of Human Resources at event sponsors Yorkshire Water, spoke of the need for employers to recognise autistic workers’ talents.

“We are delighted to be able to partner with the Hidden Talents Employment Fair. Reaching out to the widest possible talent pool supports our Diversity and Inclusion aspirations of being an organisation that is reflective of the society we serve”, she said.

“Learning how we can make our recruitment processes work even better for individuals with different needs ensures we are attracting the best possible talent to the business.”

Real benefits

“National Grid strongly believes that employing people with autism has real benefits”, said Mark Pickles, co-founder of the National Grid’s ‘EmployAbility – Let’s Work Together’ scheme for disabled employees.

He went on to add “They bring particular skills and also enrichment for our business. Feedback from managers has shown that it really brings out the best in the team and makes people feel more engaged and involved.”


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