Skilled Jobs for People with ASC Successful Dual Vocational Training and Job Placement in Germany
Objectives: Continuous evaluation of adolescents with autism spectrum in twelve vocational training centres; outcomes of vocational training and job placement; experiences with support measures, job coaching and mentoring.
Methods: Mail questionnaires (centres), Structured interviews with experts (staff), graduates (with autism) and entrepreneurs (companies)
Results: Special training programmes in twelve dual vocational training centres have led to a jump in numbers of participants with ASC from 348 (2010) to 649 (2013). 228 have successfully finished their training (2.5 – 3.5 years) and left the centres. 131 have provided information about their kind of employment: 40.5% have found work on the labour market, most of them in their trained jobs. 12.2 % have started further training or studies. 4.6 % work in a sheltered workshop. 2.3 % are not available for the labour market. 40.4 % are still looking for a job. Graduates supported by job coaches were more successful to find a demanding job on the labour market
Conclusions: People with ASC (especially with Asperger’s Syndrome and High Functioning Autism) are able to successfully undergo vocational training and work in different kinds of qualified jobs where they can unfold their potentials and do skilled work for the companies. Nevertheless there is a discrepancy between successful graduation and job placement. Therefore, some prerequisites should be taken into account for the second step:
Graduates with autism should be especially trained for job interviews or accompanied by a coach. But most of them are living with their families. They need support to find an individual accommodation, to manage everyday life skills, and to establish social contacts. An ongoing social skill training helps them to develop flexibility and social competence. Job coaching tailored to their special needs highly increases the chances to get and maintain a job.
Companies need useful information about people with ASC and their capabilities, about how to adequately communicate with them and deal with their special characteristics. They benefit from external job coaches and colleagues who volunteer as mentors.