An IT consultancy that exclusively hires autistic consultants has signed up Experian and GSK as its first British clients, New Statesman Tech can reveal.
Auticon started working with the FTSE 100 firms earlier this year as part of a groundbreaking initiative designed to tackle the autism employment gap.
Just 16 per cent of Brits on the autism spectrum are in full-time work, despite many autists displaying a natural aptitude for pattern recognition and other key skills.
Ray Coyle, Auticon’s UK CEO, said that the partnerships with GSK and Experian have already inspired a further five blue chip firms to hire its UK team.
“We’ve run out of consultants,” Mr Coyle told New Statesman Tech. “Demand exceeds supply.”
As a result, Auticon’s UK-wing is now seeking to expand its team from 15 to 50 or 60 consultants within a year.
“Recruiting is much more difficult for us,” said Mr Coyle, explaining that recruitment agencies aren’t typically set up to solely source employees on the autism spectrum.
The recruitment drives comes after Richard Branson, a long-time champion of neuro-diversity, invested in Auticon last year.
GSK has hired Auticon’s consultants to work on two big data projects in its research and development team. At Experian, meanwhile, Auticon consultants have been deployed to software testing projects.
“We believe that the results are much, much better because we match the autistic skills with the specific role within the project where those skills are required,” said Mr Coyle.
When consultants start working in a new team, Auticon assigns a job coach with a background in autistic psychology to help make the transition as smooth as possible.
“They will understand the consultant really, really well,” Mr Coyle said. “They’ll provide a workplace assessment, training for the team, and support to our consultant and the client.”
GSK and Experian confirmed but declined to comment on the partnerships.