Employment support to be offered for adults with learning disabilities and autism

Wakefield Council has been awarded £210,000 from Government to help adults across the district with learning disabilities, autism, or both, find and maintain successful employment opportunities.

Local Supported Employment empowers autistic people and people with learning disabilities to gain employment, whilst improving their confidence and wellbeing and has a positive impact on local employers and businesses.

The Government grant will allow the Council to set up its own Supported Employment initiative, which will be provided by the STEP-UP programme and partners Autism Plus.

The STEP-UP programme has been operating for three years and has developed a high standard of participant care, supporting residents into work or to progress into better work. The Supported Employment programme will be a specialist support strand of Step Up and offer bespoke support to people who have learning disabilities and autistic people.

Autism Plus has been supporting adults with autism to obtain employment for over 20 years. They have extensive experience working with employers, supporting individuals to overcome barriers, as well as providing fully tailored specialist support and guidance in the workplace.

Cllr Maureen Cummings
Cllr Maureen Cummings

The two already have strong working relationships and experience working with a range of delivery partners, which will allow them to work collaboratively and achieve the outcomes of the project.

Cllr Maureen Cummings, Wakefield Council’s Cabinet Member for Communities, Poverty and Health, said: “We’re absolutely delighted to have received this funding which will allow us to deliver our own Supported Employment programme.

“It is very important to us that every resident across our district has the best possible opportunities in life and an economy that works for everyone, and I hope this programme will empower autistic people and people with learning disabilities to achieve their potential and enhance their quality of life.”

Find out more about Autism Plus at https://autismplus.co.uk/employment-support

Residents can get in touch directly with a STEP-UP advisor on 01924 303334 or stepup@wakefield.gov.uk or visit a STEP-UP hub in their community. A list of hubs is available at www.wakefield.gov.uk/step-up