auticon, the unique IT and compliance business, helped 25 autistic adults into full-time employment during 2018.
Virgin Group invested in auticon back in October 2016 and since then the business has grown significantly. The company provides high quality careers in the IT sector for autistic adults and every consultant that auticon recruits has been formally diagnosed as autistic.
“Everyone should have an equal opportunity to enter into a career and employers should find ways to help those who require a little extra support to do so,” Richard Branson said. “auticon is doing just that, helping autistic people by matching their unique skill sets with companies across the UK. As an investor in auticon, I’m delighted with their progress and their approach serves as a great example of scalable social enterprise.”
According to the National Autistic Society just 16 per cent of autistic adults are in full-time employment – auticon is on a mission to change this.
Combining this employment figure with the STEM skills shortage the UK is facing, auticon exclusively employ autistic adults as IT consultants, saying that the talents of their consultants are what make auticon unique – their cognitive diversity allows them to bring new perspectives to otherwise unsolvable problems.
Lars Backstrom, a consultant employed by auticon said: “Before auticon, and especially before my diagnosis, I was left to my own devices to develop survival strategies. Some worked, some were flawed. Life as a whole was difficult due to all the stress and constant setbacks. At auticon, however, the story is different: I have never felt so secure and supported. My working conditions enable me to thrive, and I even have a job coach who visits me at work and liaises with the client about concerns or questions regarding me and my position as a consultant."
“auticon goes above and beyond in their efforts to ensure success and the mutual satisfaction of all parties. I am proud to be part of the growing team, and to be part of a ground-breaking project that provides employment to people on the spectrum while at the same time spreading awareness of our untapped potential. It is very empowering and humbling at the same to be part of something bigger than myself. I feel I am becoming a more accepted member of society, something many of us strive for but way too often are denied because our condition is still so misunderstood.”