Upcoming Events

Autism Network Scotland’s Employment Network is pleased to announce the date for its next annual event, taking place on Tuesday 27th September at the University of Strathclyde, Glasgow. You can find out more information by clicking on this link to our open invitation. The focus for this year’s event is support for autistic people who are in work. To book your free place, please contact us or email Autism Network Scotland with the names of attendees and their contact details.

Autism and Employment – October 5th 2015, University of Strathclyde

On Monday 5th October 2015, Autism Network Scotland’s Autism & Employment Network hosted its third annual event at the University of Strathclyde.

The event looked at the employment process, through finding and getting a job, starting in a new job, and support once in work from the perspectives of people on the autism spectrum, services that support them, and employers. Attendees also heard about the recent work of Autism Network Scotland’s Employment Network, and watched the videos they have filmed.

The event saw the launch of the brand new Autism & Employment Network website, with the site being introduced by Richard Ibbotson of Autism Initiatives and ANS Advisor Annie Watson.

Other presentations on the day included Jo Loudon of the department of Human Resources at the University of Strathclyde, who offered an HR perspective on the recruitment of people on the autism spectrum.

David Breslin, a public speaker with Asperger’s Syndrome, offered his own personal perspective on finding work. You can find out more about David’s work at his website, www.speakingliterally.com.

Richard Ibbotson detailed experiences of people on the autism spectrum in relation to job advertising, applications, interview and selection processes.

ANS advisor Lynsey Stewart presented on transitions and the workplace, which included discussion of the findings of the recent series of events, Exploring Transitions: Digging Deeper. You can read the final report on this series of events here..

David Bain of IntoWork and Callum, a service user of IntoWork’s programmes, offered their presentation on a service provider and service user’s experiences of starting a new job.

Andrew Horseman of the Number 6 One Stop Shop shared the experiences of a number of their service users in Edinburgh.

Afternoon workshops were based around discussing different case studies, and what advice should be given to an autistic person, an employer/HR worker and a person/service providing support to individuals at different stages of the employment process. These workshops were facilitated by members of the Autism Network Scotland Employment Network.


HR Perspective on the Recruitment Process – Jo Loudon (University of Strathclyde)

Experiences of getting into Employment – Richard Ibbotson (Autism Initiatives)

Transitions and the Workplace – Lynsey Stewart (Autism Network Scotland)

Support in Work: Viewpoints from a Service Provider and a Service User – Andrew Horseman (Number 6 One Stop Shop)

Autism Network Scotland Employment Network Update – Richard Ibbotson (Autism Initiatives) and Annie Watson (Autism Network Scotland)

Autism and Employment – October 7th 2014, University of Strathclyde

The focus for this event was on sharing positive experiences of employment for autistic people and identifying what works and can make the difference for positive outcomes. Pairs of autistic employees and their employers from a variety of organisations, including Tesco and The Shirlie Project, were invited to speak at the event and shared inspirational stories during the morning session through presentations, videos and interviews. Delegates also heard from Skills Development Scotland, the Department for Work and Pensions and Project SEARCH who gave informative talks on the schemes and projects currently in place across Scotland to support autistic people into work, as well as once they are in employment in order to ensure the placement is sustainable.

Workshops at this event asked the key questions: ‘What are the key points that make a difference to a successful and positive employment experience?’ and ‘How can these ideas be used to make a real difference to future employment experiences?’. These discussions generated many positive ideas and suggestions and this information has been used to develop the Employment Network’s project targeting employers.

Presentations from the event can be found below:

Autism Network Scotland – Lynsey Stewart

Tesco – Jacqueline Foy and Joanna McCaffrey

Video used as part of Tesco presentation

Project SEARCH – Angie Black and Cameron Smith

Department for Work and Pensions – Morag Gemmell and Tracy Lygo

Shirlie Project Video – MacGregor Industrial Supplies

Skills Development Scotland – Graeme Schmidt

Supporting People with Autism into Employment – 24th October 2013, University of Strathclyde

This event aimed to bring together representatives of various projects and organisations around Scotland involved in Supporting People with Autism into Employment, to share good practice and build awareness of what is going on around Scotland. Presentations came from Autism Ventures Scotland, Project SEARCH, IntoWork, iWork4Me, The Shirlie Project, National Autistic Society Prospects Graduate Project, Glasgow Music Studios and Values Into Action Scotland. Attendees also heard from Autism Network Scotland, Richard Ibbotson (Chair of the Employment Network, Director of Autism Initiatives Scotland), David Breslin (Speaking Literally), and about the Summary Guide to Employment Structures document from Kirsty Butts.

Presentations from the event can be found below:

Employment Virtual Network – Ewelina Rydzewska, Autism Network Scotland

Social Enterprises – Gordon Lee, Autism Initiatives

Project SEARCH – Maura Lynch, SCLD

Project SEARCH – Emma Hanley, Autism Network Scotland

IntoWork – Nicola Djeala

iWork4Me – Sue Hope

Shirlie Project – Neil MacLeod

Prospects Graduate Project – Jim Doherty and Callum McCrosson, National Autistic Society

Glasgow Music Studios – Lynne Howard and Chris McShannon

Diversity Works 4U – Andrea Savage, Values Into Action Scotland

Summary Guide to Employment Structures, Subgroup 4 and Conclusion/Summary – Richard Ibbotson and Kirsty Butts, Autism Initiatives, and David Breslin, Speaking Literally

Videos of all of the presentations from the event can be found on the Autism Network Scotland website here.