You're hired: job opportunities for people with autism


Posted on Monday 26 March 2018
2018-03-07 Liam Giles (centre) with Vikash Jogia, Alex Vella and Bill Dann from the Cancer Information Solution team

Liam Giles (centre) with Vikash Jogia, Alex Vella and Bill Dann from the Cancer Information Solution team

Getting the right job can be challenging for anyone, but even more so for people diagnosed with autism spectrum disorder (ASD).

Guy's and St Thomas' is playing its part to improve employment opportunities through The Autism Project, an initiative between the Trust and CareTrade – a charity helping young people with autism prepare for work.

People with ASD tend to have problems with social interaction and communication. It's estimated that 700,000 people in the UK are autistic and only 16% of autistic adults are in full-time paid employment.

Liam Giles, 26, from Forest Hill is one of seven people with autism to be employed by the Trust as a result of The Autism Project.

Liam was supported to make an application for employment to Guy's and St Thomas' and throughout the interview process. In February 2017, he successfully secured a data assistant post in the Cancer Information Solution team, which is part of the Oncology and Haematology Directorate.

Liam says: “I started looking for admin jobs at 22 and I’d applied for a lot of jobs. It was really tough because when I’m talking to people I’m wondering what I’m going to say next. It can make it hard to answer questions.

“Jemma Dear from CareTrade helped me apply for the data assistant job and sent over my CV. When I was called for interview, Demelza from the charity came along with me to explain questions I struggled with.

“Now I’ve been working here for more than a year and it’s going well for me.”

Liam’s manager, Alex Vella, Deputy Cancer Information Solution System Manager, says: “CareTrade advised the interview panel that Liam might take a while to answer questions and need some support with questions he didn’t understand.

“Liam went through the normal recruitment process and was quite obviously the best candidate for the job. He’s doing really well and gets through the data quickly and accurately. We’re really pleased with him.”

Manal Sadik, Head of Equality, Diversity and Inclusion at Guy’s and St Thomas’, says: “Guy’s and St Thomas’ is hugely proud to be part of The Autism Project.

“This project gives young people on the autistic spectrum valuable insight and experience of working in different settings, enhances their communication and social skills and leads to paid employment.

“It also inspires and motivates our staff who work with the young person and learn about different ways of communicating and develop better relationships.

 “Our ambition is to increase the number of staff employed through The Autism Project, at our hospitals and community sites, and to celebrate and share their fantastic achievements.”

Jemma Dear, The Autism Project Co-ordinator at CareTrade, says: “The Autism Project changes the lives of young people with autism. With the amazing support of the staff from Guy’s and St Thomas’ our students become more confident, independent and skilled employees ready for the world of work.”

For more information about The Autism Project contact Jemma Dear at jemma.dear@caretradeuk.org or visit information stalls on:

  • Monday 26 March, 10am to 4pm, Birdsong Corridor at St Thomas'
  • Tuesday 27 March, 10am to 4pm, Atrium 2 at Guy's.

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