Tips to support autistic graduates in the workplace

Aug 30, 2022 | Diversity

Ambitious about Autism explains its network of employers, careers advisors and young people with advice for supporting autistic graduates at work.

Autistic graduates face the worst job prospects of all graduates when they leave university.  

Of all disabled graduates, they are the least likely to be in full-time employment and the most likely to be unemployed at all qualification levels.  

The data

An outcomes survey of people who graduated in the 2017/18 academic year found that only 36.4% of first-degree autistic graduates were in full-time employment, compared with 60.4% of graduates with no known disability.  

They are also the most likely to be in low-paid, insecure work, including internships and zero hours contracts.  

Understanding the needs of autistic graduates

These disappointing outcomes are not a true reflection of the potential of autistic graduates. It isa huge waste of talent and it is also avoidable.

All autistic people need to thrive in the workplace is an understanding of their needs and workplace adjustments to meet those needs.

Ambitious about Autism’s Employ Autism programme is working with employers, young people and careers advisors to create a UK wide network of professionals with the skills, knowledge and expertise to support more autistic people into the workforce.

Together we want to create a national system of change that will enable more autistic candidates to enter the job market by providing them with the support they need to thrive. 

In collaboration with autistic young people, we’ve put together a few top tips for how employers can make simple workplace adjustments that will support autistic colleagues.

5 tips to support autistic graduates in the workplace

  1. Talk to your autistic colleague about what support they need.
  2. If you give verbal instructions follow them up promptly with a simple written version.
  3. Explain when and how you will be available to answer questions during the day.
  4. Be flexible with working patterns and let people take short breaks if they need to. Make deadlines clear, check in on progress and let people know about changes well in advance.
  5. When you set a new task, demonstrate how it should be done.

Find out more or download a poster for your workplace.

Ambitious About Autism ran a session at this year’s ISE Student Recruitment Conference. Find out more about ISE events.





Was this article helpful?


Share This