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#BTMyStory EP3 - Jobs for Talented Autistic Duo

Ed Jakeman tells us his story on a fantastic initiative of giving young people on the autistic spectrum an insight into the world of work.

Ed was the brains behind this and came up with the idea after watching a tv documentary on autism highlighting the problems autistic people have finding jobs. Ed says “Everyone can do a job of some description, it’s about finding the right one. Autistic people are often very good at solving puzzles and programming, and I thought they could do our work really well” Ed then thought of adapting this to our Work Ready Program which helps support people through a variety of skills to become more employable.

Georgia McLaren kindly organised a day with the National Autistic Society to get more information into the tools the team would need to help bring this to life. The day was a great success and led to pilots being created in London and Oswetry. The pilot was managed by the Work Ready team and volunteer mentors of people with autism, who sent a schedule and videos of the office/team and walk from the underground station to ensure people were comfortable with the environment and certificates were awarded at the end of the event Ed says “They took everything in their stride. The main learning curve was for us. Any preconceptions we had were blown away”

 Adam Brown, Ian Titheridge, Rajib Hussain and Fraser Macleod present certificates to Colombo House students Tim and Dillon

This initiative was able to offer two people Will Hattingh and Tim Davies roles with us at Colombo house, Ed says “Will and Tim showed such aptitude when they were on our pilot scheme, picking up the work very quickly” Will says “It’s my first paid job,” he says. “I’ve just not had this kind of opportunity before” and for Tim who took part in the Prince’s Trust programme said it gave him confidence and helped boost his team building skills he added “Will and I are trailblazers!”

A huge well done to Will and Tim who secured roles with us and we wish them the best of luck. Props to Ed on a truly brilliant initiative! #ProudToBeBT.

For more stories from BT employees check out our previous episodes Ask The Champions and Behind the Telethons.