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Computing charity at Bletchley Park aims to place autistic people in workplace

image copyrightThe National Museum of Computing
image captionDame Stephanie Shirley, founder of Autistica - the autism research charity - has supported the project

A charity based at Bletchley Park has started a scheme aiming to provide people with autism "equal chances" of finding employment in tech industries.

The National Museum of Computing and social enterprise Track want to create placements in the workplace for autistic people.

The museum is based at the wartime code-breaking site in Buckinghamshire.

Its director Jacqui Garrad said the programme was vital to "create the right opportunities for everyone".

"Our economy would benefit from a wider range of people bringing their skills to Stem [science, technology, engineering and maths]," she said.

She said industries needed to ensure there were "equal chances" for all.

image copyrightThe National Museum of Computing
image captionCandidates will have the opportunity to explore subjects such as coding, machine restoration, retail experience and 3D printing

Track formed in Northamptonshire in 2018 and has supported 26 people into paid work and more than 50 into work experience placements.

The organisation works with businesses to ensure workplaces are suitable for autistic people.

It hopes to increase opportunities after a report from the National Autistic Society said only 16% of adults with autism were in full-time employment.

The year-long programme with the computing museum will help 20 candidates "develop employability skills through a series of placements and Stem projects at the museum".

A spokesperson for the museum said people with autism were "often disadvantaged when it comes to getting and keeping a job because of difficulties with social communication and interaction, and employers' lack of understanding".

image copyrightThe National Museum of Computing
image captionThe museum is home to a rebuilt Colossus - the world's first programmable computer

Dame Stephanie Shirley, an entrepreneur, philanthropist and founder of Autistica - the autism research charity - has supported the programme.

She said the project would "help combat the many challenges autistic people face around employment" as well as promote the "meaningful contributions" they can make in the workplace.

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Related Topics

  • Autism
  • Disability
  • Bletchley Park
  • Engineering
  • Bletchley
  • Employment

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