Grants-fueled expansion for social enterprise Auticon whose IT consultants all have autism
The firm was founded in Berlin in 2011 and now has 18 offices around the world, including one in the Scottish capital which was launched in 2019. The organization now has ambitious plans, such as expanding its office in Bayes University of Edinburgh Center.
With the help of the Scottish Enterprise Fellowship, Auticon is recruiting 12 Technology / Data Specialists with Autism, as well as three experienced Coaches / Advisors to support the team over the next two years.
Emma Walker, Regional Director at Auticon, said: “Some companies are now recognizing that hiring neurodiverse talent leads to a diversity of thinking within teams that could provide competitive advantage, through better problem solving, creativity and innovation.
Social enterprise creates IT roles for adults with autism at new Edinburgh base
“There is a major skills shortage in technology, so organizations have to think outside the box to access the people with the talent they are looking for. Auticon is uniquely positioned to provide the support organizations need to unlock access to the wealth of neurodiverse talent. in Scotland – and beyond.
“Specifically, we help organizations overcome common issues that can create barriers for adults with autism, from traditional recruitment processes to work environments.
“At the moment, we are working with a number of financial services companies with plans for growth. Our expansion has been made possible by Scottish Enterprise and will allow more highly qualified adults with autism the opportunity to find meaningful employment with Scottish companies. “
Ian Blewett, Digital Economy Manager at Scottish Enterprise, said diversity is the key to an inclusive and prosperous Scottish economy. “This is a key priority for Scottish Enterprise, as underscored by the breadth and depth of the companies we have supported in Scotland, such as Auticon, resulting in greater diversity in the data industry.
“Auticon’s approach to providing holistic support and raising awareness about autism is commendable, and Scottish Enterprise is proud to have supported the expansion of its global workforce in Edinburgh – not just creating jobs, but to provide careers, for people to thrive. “
Auticon cites data from the Office for National Statistics showing that only 22% of people with autism in the UK have full-time jobs. It also says that, according to figures from the National Autistic Society, there are around 56,000 people with autism in Scotland, with 60% of employers fearing that they are getting the wrong help for employees with autism and not knowing how to access information.
The social enterprise also highlights the case of Chris, a new recruit in Edinburgh, who said: “It’s wonderful to work for a company that acts as my lawyer. They spend a lot of time and effort making sure a role is right for me before meeting the company.
Additionally, Auticon says he is passionate about helping organizations become more inclusive and embrace neurodivergent conditions. Last year he received funding from the Scottish government to recruit an autism counselor who has provided training to 24 organizations across Scotland.