A $200,000 grant from the Jobs Victoria Innovation Fund will enable Specialisterne, one of the first companies in the world to highlight the benefits of a neuro-diverse workforce, to work with small and medium businesses to employ 20 adults with autism.

28 February 2018

Specialisterne will work with La Trobe and Autism CRC to deliver the program, which will will deliver job opportunities across Melbourne and regional Victoria, ensuring high retention rates and job satisfaction.

Established in Australia in 2015, the company has set a goal of enabling 12,000 career pathways for people on the autism spectrum by 2025.

Adam Walton. Picture: Ellen Smith. Courtesy the Herald Sun.

Adam Walton. Picture: Ellen Smith. Courtesy the Herald Sun.

As an innovative social enterprise, Specialisterne provides assessment, training, education and IT consultancy services for those with autism.

Recently, the Herald Sun spoke to Adam Walton, who related his experience with Specialisterne as being "transformative", enabling him to move into meaningful work with confidence. "People on the spectrum are like anyone else, they have a variety of talents and they can be a real asset to the workplace if you give them a go," he said. Read more here.

Victoria is home to an estimated 3,500 social enterprises – about 25 per cent of Australia’s social enterprises – which contribute $5.2 billion in gross output to the Victorian economy.

A report from the Centre for Social Impact shows that there are at least 60,000 jobs created by social enterprises in Victoria, with more than 25 per cent of their employees coming from groups that face barriers to employment. This includes jobs for more than 12,000 Victorians with disability, 4,000 long term unemployed people and 985 jobs for indigenous Australians.

The Jobs Victoria Innovation Fund provides grants to support new and innovative approaches to employment services, including social enterprise organisations like Specialisterne.

Find out more about Specialisterne

Find out more about the Jobs Victoria Innovation Fund