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IT jobs 'for people with autism'

22 March 10 14:00 GMT

A project in Scotland to train up to 60 people with autistic spectrum disorder (ASD) for IT jobs has been awarded £407,036 from the Big Lottery Fund.

Community Enterprise in Scotland will use the funding for its Specialisterne UK initiative in Glasgow over the next five years.

The project is based on a Danish model which employs people with ASD as software testers.

ASD is thought to affect about 1% of the population across Europe.

Community Enterprise in Scotland said it planned "an intensive six-month screening programme" to identify people who could benefit.

'Mainstream work'

Participants would then be paid market rates and work in specially adapted settings.

Chief executive Gerry Higgins said: "Only 13% of adults with an autism spectrum disorder are in full-time employment.

"We look forward to creating a new, sustainable social enterprise which will employ people with an ASD, at a market-rate wage in a mainstream work environment.

"We know that Specialisterne has the potential to transform attitudes, lives and business practices.

He added: "We look forward to assisting business in the UK to understand the competitive advantage that people with an autism spectrum disorder can bring to business in this country."

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