The Entry to Work team are celebrating Neuro-diversity Celebration Week (13th-17th March 2023). As a Disability Confident Employer, Essex County Council is very aware of the unique contribution autistic young people can make to our organisation. As part of the Levelling Up Agenda, ECC are committed to creating a strong, inclusive, and sustainable economy, including getting 4500 more people into employment.
Since 2021 the Entry to Work team have delivered their Neuro-Diverse Internship programme for autistic individuals. Our 2022 cohort hosted by Business Support saw 75% of Interns successfully gain further employment within Essex County Council, including progressing onto Accessible Apprenticeships. The Entry to Work team pride themselves on reducing barriers to employment, by supporting applicants throughout the programme. The team partner with Ambitious About Autism who provide training for line managers and buddies, as well as valuable tips to ensure each Intern has the opportunity to shine.
One of our hosting line managers, Jenna Horner, has this to say about the experience:
“It was truly a career highlight to be involved in ECC’s Neuro-diverse internship programme in 2022! I was involved from the interview stage to the end of my intern’s placement. I was blown away by the calibre of applicants, and it was great to meet such driven, and talented individuals looking for an opportunity to thrive. Our intern was hard-working, skilled, and just wanted a chance to work in an environment that understood her needs. We watched our intern develop and build relationships with the team and secure herself an apprenticeship at the end of her time with our team. I would say to any person with Autism looking to take that leap of faith into employment, please take a chance on ECC; you will be supported every step of the way, and we would love to have you join us!”
Hear what one of the previous interns has to say about the programme:
This year we are excited to be extending these internships to 20 weeks; starting in September 2023 and paid at National Living Wage. If you’re autistic and aged 18 or over, our internships could be a great opportunity for you to gain valuable workplace experience, employability skills, and potentially a long career in Local Government.
More information about the departments offering these Internships and the kind of tasks you could be doing will be available in early Summer 2023. Please look out for the adverts when they go live! Alternatively, if you would like to find out more about our Neuro-diverse Internships pathway, please visit the ETW page on Working for Essex or email the team on firstname.lastname@example.org.