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Education and Employment

In Australia, training to support people with autism into work

Portrait of concentrated young man with down syndrome working on laptop outdoors.

Australia’s Minister for Families and Social Services Anne Ruston has announced two new training projects as part of the Government’s suite of disability employment initiatives. 

Doughnut bakery and social enterprise Krofne, Whitmur Advisors and GenU Training have received $200,000 to work together to develop two accredited training courses for the hospitality industry.

They will roll out pilot programs in New South Wales, Victoria and the Australian Capital Territory, with the potential to be expanded to other locations and industries.

“With more than 50 per cent of its workforce people with intellectual disabilities, Krofne bakery is a Canberra leader in disability employment,” Minister Ruston said.

“Danijela Vrkic started the business in 2016 so her son Anthony, who has Down Syndrome, could have a meaningful job that he loves.

“Ms Vrkic’s experience will help equip the program that will offer training for businesses help employees with autism to navigate workplace expectations with a real-world understanding of the rewards and fundamentals of employing people with disability.”

Specialisterne has received $300,000 to train and support eight businesses and two recruitment agencies to become autism-confident in Brisbane and Melbourne, offer these businesses coaching and support for up to 20 new employees with autism.

“With international expertise in changing employer mindsets about the employability of people with autism, Specialisterne will provide in-house support and training tailored to the needs of each employer and the talents of employees with autism,” Minister Ruston said.

Chair of the Select Committee on Autism Hollie Hughes said the Government was committed to breaking down barriers people with autism face finding long-term employment.

“People with autism have a wide range of strengths and skill sets that we want employers to be confident in harnessing in any workplace,” Senator Hughes said.

“We know changing employer beliefs and bias is key to making lasting change and these two programs can help lead the way.”

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