TalkTalk will support the national charity to provide valuable work experience for 10,000 autistic young people

Despite its prominence as an oft-repeated mantra of the telecoms industry, the term ‘corporate social responsibility’ is often considered merely as a public relations issue, rather than an investment into the economy in which the companies are situated.  
In the UK, for example, autistic people often face bleak employment prospects, with only 16% of autistic adults in full time employment. Beyond the human impact of this extremely low figure, the economic cost to the national economy is enormous, being estimated at around £32 billion each year.
Now, TalkTalk’s partnership with Ambitious about Autism is increasing to help launch ‘Employ Autism’, a scheme to help 10,000 autistic young people prepare for the world of work by 2022. The programme will focus on the North West of the UK.
TalkTalk has been partnered with the charity for many years, having raised £4 million for the national charity since 2006.
“We are proud to be partnering with Ambitious about Autism to enable thousands of autistic young adults to reach fulltime employment,” said Tristia Harrison, TalkTalk’s chief executive (pictured).
The topic of neurodiversity in industry is slowly gaining traction, but Ambitious about Autism hopes that partnerships such as this one with TalkTalk will help accelerate the concept’s adoption throughout the UK.  
“Neurodiversity and different ways of thinking and problem solving can bring huge benefits to businesses, and we hope our Employ Autism programme will help employers unlock this untapped potential,” said Jolanta Lasota, Ambitious about Autism chief executive. 
TalkTalk will be offering a number of placements across various functions for these young people over the coming summer.
The programme has partly been facilitated by TalkTalk’s recent HQ move from London to Salford, as well as the company’s participation in the government’s Northern Powerhouse Partner Programme aiming to boost the North of England’s economy.
To learn more about how the UK’s telecoms industry is helping to develop the next generation’s digital skillset, visit Connected Britain 2020
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