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As part of our ‘Shaping Our Future’ Strategy, we’re championing equality, diversity, and inclusion for the benefit of all. This includes creating inclusive workplace environments where everyone feels able to thrive.

We’re so proud of John Facchini, one of our Employer Engagement Officers at Moving On Tyne & Wear, who has organised a series of free autism awareness training sessions for local employers. The sessions are designed to help employers better support both current and future employees who have autism.

We’re so proud to lead Moving On Tyne & Wear (MOTW), an amazing employability programme that helps people with a health barrier, disability, additional learning need, or autism, to get into employment, training, or volunteering.

MOTW regularly works alongside local employers, to help them address any barriers that people may face when applying for their roles. By hosting this free training, MOTW has been able to connect with lots of new employers, meaning they are able to reach even more people and help more autistic people reach their career goals and fulfil their potential.

John explains:

“I’ve got about 20 years of experience working with people who are autistic and I’m absolutely passionate about helping people reach their full potential. The figures around autism and unemployment are startling – the national average for unemployment is around 4-5% of the adult population, but a huge 68% of adults with autism are unemployed. I want to help bring this number down and enable more autistic people get into work, by helping employers to create a supportive and inclusive environment.

So far, the feedback has been really positive. Some of the employers we have been supporting have even explained that the training has helped them to better understand their friends and family who have been diagnosed with autism. If even just one person’s mindset is changed for the better, then I’ll be happy.”

We’ve been talking to Olivia Thomson​ (she/ her), our Communications and Support Officer for MOTW, who has recently been on the Autism Awareness Training.

Olivia reflects:

“I recently had the pleasure of taking part in one of the training sessions and I really enjoyed the experience. It’s so important for me to learn about the experiences of neurodivergent people in order to better understand how I can support people in my role at Moving On Tyne & Wear.

John was great at explaining how best to support people who have autism in the workplace. I feel like I’ve left the training with the ability to create a supportive and welcoming workplace for others and I hope to implement what I have learned in my day-to-day role, to help support our participants.

John was able to explain the complex experiences of neurodivergent people and how this can affect their employment opportunities. It was really eye opening to see the struggles that other people face, I left the training with a much broader understanding of how I can support others moving forward.”

We’re so pleased to see these valuable sessions running. If you’re interested in attending a training session, please get in touch with John directly at john.facchini@motw.org.uk.

Find out more about inclusion, diversity and equality journey here.

Moving On Tyne & Wear is funded by the European Social Fund and The National Lottery Community Fund and is part of the Building Better Opportunities Initiative.

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