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Helping autistic people into work could boost economy by £1.5bn, academics say

ACADEMICS called today for more support for autistic students seeking work after graduation, saying that it could boost the British economy by £1.5 billion.

Swansea University’s Dr Brian Garrod is urging higher education providers to look more closely at how they help such people enter the job market. 

Dr Garrod led researchers from Swansea University and Liverpool John Moores University into conducting a UK-wide study with neurodivergent students to understand the challenges facing them in the world of work.

He said: “Autistic adults are one of the least likely groups within the working-age population to be in full-time employment — just 30 per cent of autistic adults are in gainful work.

“For autistic people, leaving university can be incredibly daunting.”

An autistic student from Swansea University, speaking about seeking employment, said: “The interview [is] a dance.

“You've got this person who's trying to dance with you and you’ve no idea what the steps are.”

A Welsh government spokesperson said: “Under our jobs growth Wales plus programme for 16-19 year-olds, all young people with autism can access tailored and practical support, including job coaches and in-work support.”

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