We simply don’t have enough space, here, to list the many benefits that having a neuro-diverse workforce can bring to local employers across all sectors so here are our top 10 highlights
- Access to talent. Our experience with some of our interns on the autistic spectrum, for instance, reveals that they have heightened skills in areas such as: accuracy, systematic approach, logical analysis, pattern recognition, detection of errors; and sustained concentrate
- Commitment: on average employees with learning disabilities stay in job 5 times longer than non-disabled co-workers which, in turn, reduces your recruitment costs.
- Staff development: helps your team members develop new skills in areas such as coaching, listening, information-sharing and team-building with young adults who may think and act in slightly different ways to them.
- Customer insight: the Purple Pound refers to the amount that people with disabilities spend in the economy and, in 2020, it was estimated at xx billion. All employers need to have employees that reflect their customer base and can provide invaluable insight. Are you missing out?
- Staff morale: employees who can see they are working in an organisation that cares and represents the society within which it operates are likely to be more engaged, resulting in more positive workforce attitudes.
- Positive corporate image: the benefits of workforce reflecting the communities your business serves. 77% of the public think more highly of companies that make an extra effort to employ people with a disability. (Charity Awareness Monitor)
- Enhanced reputation: by supporting your local community and demonstrating your organisation as a socially responsible business, you will appeal to customers/consumers, shareholders and investors alike who will appreciate the efforts you are making to be an equal opportunities employer.
- Neuro-diversity: having a workforce with people who think differently has obvious advantages when it comes to innovation and finding solutions to complex tasks and issues. It can also have an astonishing effect on a work culture: communication becomes clearer and more efficient, team spirit gains new momentum and employees feel valued for their unique and individual selves.
- Reduced cost to the national economy. The National Audit Office estimates that it costs up to £1.5m per person of lifetime costs for every young person that doesn’t have the employability skills to live in semi-independence. By supporting someone with special education needs into employment, it could increase their income by between 55 and 95 percent, as well as improving their self-esteem.
- It’s the law! It is illegal to be prejudiced about employing someone with a disability as enshrined in the Equality Act 2010. This stops people from being discriminated both at work and in wider society and disability is listed as one of the protected characteristics.
Forward-thinking businesses are, increasingly, developing a better understanding of the many benefits that having a diverse workforce brings. Unfortunately, however, the national rates remain shocking – only 5.9% of people with learning disabilities are in work and the employment rate for disabled people in general is 39.2%, compared to a (pre-Covid) rate of 80.6% for the rest of the population not classed as having a disability.
We are determined that Leeds will buck this national trend and we are working with partners across the public, private and third sectors to ensure that, as a City, we can create a blueprint that others can follow. We want to help create a network of compassionate employers, in Leeds, who can demonstrate the very real benefits that can be gained by employing people with a range of support needs, including autism and learning difficulties.
If you want to be part of this step-change in Leeds, ring us today on 0113 3400006