International firm announces internships for candidates with autism

updated on 07 October 2021

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Herbert Smith Freehills has announced a new internship programme offering graduates with autism a chance to work at the firm for eight weeks.

The firm has partnered with Ambitious About Autism – a charity that supports people with autism into work – and auticon – a social enterprise that exclusively recruits, trains and employs adults with autism as information technology consultants.

The eight-week internship is open to graduates from the University of Sussex and is part of the Employ Autism Higher Education Network run by Santander – an employability programme that is designed to unlock the potential of students and graduates who have autism and support them into full-time work.

As part of the internship, candidates will be offered the opportunity to work within the firm’s risk, compliance and in-house legal function. One consultant has already been placed in the firm’s London-based IT team due to the firm’s work with auticon.

The firm has also been developing bespoke training to improve awareness of neuro-divergent talent and ensure appropriate support is in place to create an inclusive workplace in which everyone can succeed at work.

Haig Tyler, the firm’s chief information officer said: "Figures show that too few autistic adults are in full-time roles, despite the overwhelming majority wanting to work. Being neuro-divergent should not be seen as an impediment to employment and our new partnership is one way in which we can help build a more inclusive society. What matters is whether individuals have the skills, the talent and the desire to succeed; our aim is to create an environment where that is possible for everyone.”