Digital Skills

Pioneering digital skills boost for autistic teens and young adults

Autistic teenagers and young adults interested in a career in IT can now access free training and employment support, thanks to an innovative new charity partnership thought to be the first of its kind in the UK.

National charity, Caudwell Children, have launched the Digital Skills programme in partnership with West Midlands Combined Authority (WMCA) and digital training experts, Risual Academy, to support autistic young people aged 16 – 25 living in the West Midlands.

The partnership has been launched to provide autistic teenagers and young adults with the practical skills, mentoring and support they need to pursue a career in a wide variety of IT-based roles.

Trudi Beswick, Chief Executive at Caudwell Children, said: “This is a pioneering new partnership and an exciting opportunity for highly skilled autistic young people to get the support they need to forge a career in the digital industries.

Many of the barriers to employment that autistic people face are related to the lack of understanding throughout the training and recruitment process. With our unique mentoring programme, we will find the perfect balance of support for autistic young people going through this important stage of their lives while also improving employer awareness and confidence in making the necessary adjustments to make their business accessible to a more neuro-diverse workforce.”

The free 10-week course, starting in July, provides learners with professional training in core digital skills including website creation, coding and digital media. Mentoring support from Caudwell Children will also provide employability skills training and guidance in securing work experience.

Michael Jones, the project’s Employment Support Officer, commented: “Many autistic people have a wealth of practical skills which are often underutilised by employers due to challenges in the recruitment process. Our aim is to bridge the gap between this talent pool and help them forge rewarding careers in the ever-growing digital industries.”

Applications for the programme are open to young people aged 16-25 with an autism diagnosis and living in the West Midlands region, including Birmingham, Wolverhampton, Coventry, Telford, Warwickshire and Herefordshire.

For more information or to register interest visit: see – www.caudwellchildren.com/digital-skills

ENDS