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Employing graduates with an autism spectrum condition

March 2021

This work by researchers at the University of Central Lancashire (UCLan) explores student/graduate and employer perceptions of recruiting graduates with an autism spectrum condition (ASC) diagnosis 

Key findings 


  • 40% of our respondents had directly engaged with a careers service activity, while 60% of respondents had not engaged and were possibly likely to need support. 
  • 90% of our respondents were under the age of 29. None of those over 29 had engaged with careers. 
  • 97% of respondents said a direct approach from careers would be helpful once diagnosis was disclosed and 67% said this would be 'extremely' or 'very' helpful. 
  • Of those who had engaged with careers, one to one appointments and workshops were the most popular compared to other offers.  
  • 100% of respondents rated specialist careers appointments as helpful.  
  • 87% of respondents thought that having specialist ASC careers advisers was 'extremely' or 'very' helpful. 
  • 100% of respondents said ASC employability workshops were helpful with 75% of those who had engaged with careers rating them as 'extremely' or 'very' helpful. 


  • 90% of employer respondents had neither employed graduate staff with an ASC or had measures such as reasonable adjustments in place when recruiting graduates. 
  • Most employer respondents (84.21%) had no measures in place for selection, recruitment, and support in the workplace for candidates or employees with an ASC. 
  • 25.8% of employer respondents were registered as 'Disability Confident Employers', but 74.2% of respondents were not registered or were unsure if they were. 
  • 75% of employers who were registered Disability Confident had measures in place for selection and recruitment of people with an ASC. (One employer had none and one employer was unsure). 
  • A significant majority of respondents stated they had no supportive measures in the workplace for employees who had an ASC diagnosis. 

Download the full report 

Employing graduates with an autism spectrum condition: the student perspective/the employer perspective

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    98  pages
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Download the full report 

Download PDF file Employing graduates with an autism spectrum condition: the student perspective/the employer perspective

About the report  

This HECSU-funded research report identifies student/graduate and employer perceptions of recruiting graduates with an ASC diagnosis to see if their views are similar. It also aims to understand whether careers provision at UCLan is helpful for students and graduates with an ASC and identify areas for further development. The findings will be used to inform local employers and other relevant parties about what helps and what hinders the employment of graduates with an autism spectrum condition. 

The principal researcher is Kathryn Aindow-Jones and support researchers are Dr Kate Chatfield and Carol Sanderson.

Funding for this research was awarded by HECSU prior to its merger with Jisc in May 2020. 

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