Together with HP Australia and Specialist People Foundation, the Dandelion program gives young people with autism spectrum disorder, access to a career in IT.
The program was first launched out of the department’s Adelaide IT Hub earlier this year.
“We are very impressed with the quality of the work produced by our Adelaide trainees, as well as their personal and professional growth. They have told us their confidence has never been so high,” Minister for Human Services, Marise Payne, said.
“We have seen the benefits of this program for the individuals through their higher earning capacity and reduced reliance on carers, for business through productive and committed employees, and for government by lowering welfare dependency and increasing participation.”
As a result of the program, the department and HP Australia are partnering with La Trobe University to establish a research program to understand the social impacts of the Specialist People Foundation employment model for adults with autism spectrum disorder.
HP South Pacific Managing Director Nick Wilson said the recruitment and induction processes have been tailored to enable the applicants to demonstrate their strengths in a supportive environment.
Specialist People Foundation founder, Thorkil Sonne, said since he visited Australia six years ago, he’s been inundated with requests for assistance to provide meaningful work for people with autism spectrum disorder.
Its goal is to enable one million jobs for people with this condition.