Cashback for communities

16.11.2016. The Cabinet Secretary for Justice, Michael Matheson, visited our Glasgow office to announce new funding for our Moving Forward service. The service helps autistic young people overcome barriers to employment and increases autism understanding amongst employers.

During his visit, Mr Matheson met a group of young people who have been supported by our charity. They told him about the challenges they face, shared personal experiences of seeking employment, and explained how Moving Forward has helped.

The new funding comes from Scottish Government’s Cashback for Communities initiative, and means we can support around 300 young people into work, volunteering opportunities, and further education over the next three years.

Jenny Paterson, director of The National Autistic Society Scotland, said, “A significant autism employment gap exists in our society.

Just 32 per cent of autistic people are in employment – compared to 47 per cent of disabled people and 80 per cent of non-disabled people.

"Cashback for Communities will play a vital role in closing this gap by funding our employment support service in Scotland, which helps autistic people to prepare for work and employers to understand the condition.

“The benefits of the funding will be felt right across Scotland: autistic people will increase in independence and confidence, employers will gain their skills and commitment, and taxpayers will save on out-of-work benefit payments.”

Mr Matheson added, “With this money we are supporting Scotland’s most disadvantaged young people to reach their full potential in life, helping them to learn new skills, boost their confidence and become responsible people.

“We have already supported thousands of young people through our CashBack initiative with £75 million committed and nearly two million activities and opportunities offered since 2008. With this latest funding we demonstrate our commitment to tackle inequality and keep young people active in their communities.

“Through CashBack we are punishing those who break the law and directing their ill-gotten gains directly back into Scotland’s communities.”

The news follows the recent launch of the employment phase of our Too Much Information campaign, which aims to close the autism employment gap.