Auticon exclusively employs IT consultants on the autism spectrum
Linklaters highlights the value of working with autistic adults for World Autism Awareness Week (26 March – 2 April)
90% of Auticon’s UK consultants were unemployed before joining London office, despite being highly skilled
27th March 2018, London – Auticon UK, a unique technology company, which exclusively employs IT consultants on the autism spectrum, today announced it had signed up leading global law firm, Linklaters, as its latest UK client, as the social enterprise sought to raise awareness around autism and employment for World Autism Awareness Week (26th March – 2nd April).
Linklaters partner, Owen Clay, said:
“Neurodiversity need not be a barrier to working at a world class law firm. In fact, embracing the diverse talents of people in a diverse workforce enables us to deliver the best possible service to our clients.
“Taking an open-minded and innovative approach to the way we work is a key strength of life at Linklaters. We look to find the best possible people for each and every role. Our experience with Auticon has been that any adjustments we need to make to accommodate the needs of their consultants are far outweighed by the extraordinary abilities and skills they bring to the firm.”
Auticon UK’s CEO, Ray Coyle, said:
“We are delighted to welcome Linklaters as our latest UK client. As a true innovator among global law firms, Linklaters immediately recognised the value of working with neurodiverse talent. Unemployment among autistic adults is a major issue in the UK. By working with Auticon, City firms can not only address the unemployment issue among autistic adults but also benefit from our consultants’ market-leading skillsets on complex IT and compliance projects”
Auticon only launched its London office in spring 2016 and received funding from Richard Branson’s Virgin Group and Esmée Fairbairn Foundation in October 2016. Since then, the social enterprise has proven so popular in the UK it’s grown by 200% year-on-year, winning major UK blue-chip clients, Experian and GlaxoSmithKline, Virgin Money, Allianz, Channel 4 and Network Rail.
Addressing the unemployment issue among autistic adults in the UK, Auticon employs 20 autistic consultants on a full time basis, and has plans to employ many more to meet growing demand from clients. 90% of Auticon’s UK consultants were unemployed before joining the London office, with half of those unemployed for more than five years, despite being highly skilled. One third of Auticon consultants are educated to PhD level but struggled to find employment.
In the UK, only 16% of autistic adults are in full time employment, despite 77% of people with autism on out of work benefits wanting to work .
Auticon is unique in directly employing autistic IT consultants, and offering full support in the form of professional job coaches and IT project managers. These job coaches advise clients on creating autism-friendly work environments and support consultants, as needed, to ensure they feel comfortable and are able to fulfil their potential. Auticon IT project managers guide consultants from a technical angle and advance professional development trajectories that match the individual strengths and interests of consultants.
Auticon is an IT and compliance consulting business and the first enterprise to exclusively employ adults on the autism spectrum as IT consultants. It was founded in Berlin in November 2011 with investment from the Munich and London-based Ananda Social Venture Fund.
Auticon appointed Kurt Schöffer as CEO in 2013 to grow and expand the social enterprise. An international entrepreneur in the IT, energy and media sectors, Kurt was also an original investor in Auticon. In spring 2016, Auticon launched offices in London, UK and Paris, France. Ray Coyle was appointed as UK CEO at Auticon in August 2016, and is leading the company’s expansion in the UK.
Autistic adults often have extraordinary cognitive abilities, such as logic, pattern recognition, precision, sustained concentration, and an ability to intuitively spot errors; yet many find it difficult to secure or maintain mainstream employment. Auticon taps into this potential and produces a win-win-win situation for clients, autistic consultants, as well as society.
Auticon employs more than 100 IT consultants on the autism spectrum in the UK, Germany and France, and is the first social enterprise to scale this model across Europe.
About Linklaters LLP:
Linklaters is a leading global law firm, supporting and investing in the future of our clients wherever they do business. We combine legal expertise with a collaborative and innovative approach to help clients navigate constantly evolving markets and regulatory environments, pursuing opportunities and managing risk worldwide.
Our 5,200 people, of which almost half are lawyers, are located across 29 offices in 20 countries. In order to offer our clients the highest quality advice, our lawyers across three divisions;Corporate, Dispute Resolution and Finance and Projects, specialise in industry sectors as well as practice areas.