Employment Futures

Employment Futures exists to help remove barriers to meaningful employment for autistic adults and/or those with learning difficulties.

Unlock Your Potential is a new programme for County Durham to help people aged 19 and above to develop the skills and confidence to enter the workplace.

It is aimed at autistic/neurodivergent people and those with learning disabilities, and is delivered remotely for four hours a week across six weeks. 

It is free to participants, who can self-refer as well as being referred by Job Centres, the NHS, Local Authorities and other organisations. It is part of the North East Autism Society's Employment Futures service, which is a passionate advocate for the skills, talents and abilities of autistic people in the workplace.

What the programme will cover

Unlock Your Potential focuses on developing participants' confidence and skills to operate effectively in life and work, with a strong emphasis on wellbeing. It covers:

  • Identifying strategies and techniques to recognise and deal with sensory overload, anxiety and misunderstandings
  • Preparing for work through identifying transferable skills as well as hidden barriers to meaningful employment
  • Increasing job prospects by developing job-searching and digital skills, preparing a CV and cover letter, and practising interview techniques
  • Learning about disability confident and neurodiversity friendly employers, positive disclosure, rights at work and reasonable adjustments
  • Exploring training, qualifications and support services
  • Becoming familiar with workplace behaviour, etiquette and structures, and with travel to and from a job

How the programme will run

Unlock Your Potential will be delivered remotely for four hours a week across six weeks to small groups of participants. There will be various start dates between now and the end of June 2023.

Who can unlock their workplace potential?

Are you aged 19 or over?

Have you been a UK/EU resident for the past three years?

Do you live within the boundaries of County Durham?

Are you autistic, neurodivergent and/or have a learning difficulty?

Are you currently out of work?

Then you could be eligible. There is no benefit requirement, although prior suitability checks will take place.

How much does it cost?

Unlock Your Potential is completely free. It is fully supported by the North East Autism Society's Employment Futures service.

How do you apply?

If you would like to find out more, or are interested in taking part and meet the criteria listed above, please contact the Employment Futures team: