Kevan Jones, Labour MP for North Durham

"The current low employment rates for neurodivergent people are a great concern. I warmly welcome this project, which will encourage North East businesses to look at new ways to encourage autistic people to join the work-force, bringing great benefits to the companies, the individuals and society as a whole."

Chi Onwurah, MP for Newcastle Central and Labour shadow minister for science, research and innovation

"Industry and other employers have everything to gain from a neurodiverse workforce, and autistic people have the same right to work and progress as everyone else. I back this campaign and would urge companies to take the chance to think differently about how they become more inclusive."

Peter Gibson, Conservative MP for Darlington

"The Government has pledged to get a million more disabled people into work by 2027 and commissioned the Buckland Review of Autism Employment to support this. We know the majority of autistic people want to work, and I welcome the NEAS campaign urging employers to create more opportunities for them to do this.”

Ian Mearns, Labour MP for Gateshead

"Access to a job makes such a difference to lives, in terms of wellbeing, self-worth and community inclusion, and it’s hugely important to support everyone to achieve that. But we need our fantastic and caring business community to step up to the mark to provide those opportunities. We do have a fantastic business community in the North East and it would be great to think they could come together to provide these vital new opportunities.”

Helen Easton, director of people and culture for Darlington Business Society

"As a business working closely with the North East Autism Society, Darlington Building Society is fully behind the objectives of the 1,000 Opportunities campaign. Our aim as an employer is to be as inclusive as possible. Therefore, we have committed to a staff training programme with experts from NEAS, created quiet spaces for neurodivergent colleagues, and are looking at other changes we can make to support neurodivergent employees and members.”

Adrian Wallace, TT2 chief executive

“Business and society as a whole have a real opportunity to do the right things and realise that it’s not about people changing to fit in the work environment – it’s changing those environments to make them more open and inclusive. That’s why I’m backing the NEAS campaign.”

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