In the UK, the overall employment rate is about 75% of people who are of working age. For Autistic adults, the employment rate is just 16%. That means 5 out of every 6 autistic adults who could be enjoying meaningful employment are currently out of work.
There are many fantastic charities, social enterprises, businesses and local or central government schemes to help under-served communities find work, but these services are mainly built around the traditional work environment, often within a local community and with a small group of potential employers.
When the pandemic hit at the start of 2020, businesses were forced to change – to be more flexible, support remote workers and adjust their working practices. Almost overnight, home–working became normal for millions of workers, and this has created new opportunities for the Neurodiverse community. Many of the barriers to traditional employment have disappeared and a whole new world of freelancing, open talent and the gig economy has opened up.