News Creation of 250 jobs as NEAS continues to grow As demand for our services continues to grow, the North East Autism Society is pressing ahead with a major expansion across the North-East with the creation of 250 additional jobs. The forthcoming expansion includes the launch of a new school in the Stockton area, and additional services across the wider region, but NEAS chief executive John Phillipson says there will also be “heavy recruitment in Sunderland”. With around 860 staff currently employed across the North-east, delivering a vast range of services from the Scottish borders to Teesside, there is now a push to recruit for a range of roles, particularly carers, teachers and teaching assistants. The focus on induction and staff training has also intensified ahead of the recruitment drive, so Mr Phillipson says no one should be put off by a lack of previous experience in dealing with autistic and neurodiverse children. A five-day induction programme introduces new recruits to the Society, and covers areas such as health and safety, plus an initial explanation of autism and neurodiversity. That is followed by three months of intensive on-the-job training. "We invest a great deal of time and money in training and mentoring, so that our staff have the confidence to deliver these vital services," Mr Phillipson adds. These are challenging times economically, with lots of people finding themselves unemployed, but there will be a significant number of opportunities for those considering a change of career. It doesn’t matter if they haven’t previously worked in the care sector, and these roles will come with lots of potential for progression. This recruitment drive comes seven months after the first cohort of students were welcomed to our new school, the Mackenzie Thorpe Centre, in South Bank. The third of its kind in the region, the school provides autism-specific education for children and young people aged five to 19 and boasts modernised classrooms, as well as a large play yard, multi-use hall and student common room. Meanwhile, facilities have also been extended at Thornhill Park School, in Sunderland, with the number of pupils increasing from 45 to 80. Click here to see our current vacancies.