The Buckland Review of Autism Employment
As part of my ongoing work to close the employment gap for autistic people and those with other neurodivergent needs, I was very pleased to announce at the start of the month that I have been appointed by the Prime Minister and the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions to lead a new Autism Employment Review.
People with autism have particularly low employment rates – with fewer than three in ten in work. The Buckland Review of Autism Employment, supported by the charity Autistica and the Department for Work and Pensions, is aiming to change that.
I am delighted to have been asked to lead this important Review. Our workplaces and businesses would benefit so much from the huge potential that autistic people represent.
If we close the employment gap for autistic people, it will not just mean individual fulfilment but a significant boost to employment and productivity for our country.
The Buckland Review of Autism Employment will consider issues including how employers better support autistic staff already in their workforce, what more could be done to prepare autistic people for beginning or returning to a career, and working practices or initiatives to reduce stigma.
The review will focus specifically on autistic people and aims to develop solutions that will be acceptable to them. My aim is for it to be effective at improving autistic people’s outcomes and for its proposals to be feasible for employers or public services to deliver.
You can find out more about my review here: https://www.gov.uk/government/news/new-review-to-boost-employment-prospects-of-autistic-people
Zurich Insurance opens one of UK’s most sustainable offices in Swindon
I was honoured to officially open Unity Place Zurich. Located in the town centre, the building has been designed to rank among the top 10% of commercial buildings for sustainability in the UK. It features electric car charging points, a storage and repair centre for bicycles, recycling points, energy-efficient LED lighting, and a beehive on the roof. Unity Place will be powered completely by renewable electricity. This building is a catalyst for regeneration and new development here in Swindon and demonstrates Zurich’s commitment to Swindon, where it has a long history as one of the town’s largest employers.
Visit To Swindon UTC With Lord Kenneth Baker
I was very pleased to be back at Swindon UTC with Lord Baker, the man who, together with Lord Dearing, set up the Baker Dearing Trust, to create the network of technical colleges that we now have across the country. UTC is an excellent college that encourages and develops the growth of skills, which leads to degree apprenticeships, jobs, and the new economy of tomorrow.
Set up around ten years ago, The UTC has really taken flight in the last few years, under inspiring leadership. It was great to see the students so infused and learning about new technology together and developing the future skills of tomorrow.
Visit to Polaris House
I was really pleased to visit Polaris House here in Swindon again, which is the headquarters of UK Research and Innovation, with all of the different research councils headquartered here in our hometown. It is the place where the Space Agency is based, it is the heart of research and development, and evidence-based initiatives that are all about the economy of the future. It was great to visit the team at UKRI again and learn more about how future generations are going to work to grow our economy. UKRI is an exciting place, full of brilliant ideas, and I am proud to have it, right here in the heart of Swindon.
Vulnerable Residents in Swindon Will Benefit From £3 million In Support Funding
Swindon Borough Council will receive £3,030,691 in this latest round of government funding to help families that need support with the cost of essentials in the face of rising costs.
This funding takes the total level of support provided to Swindon residents to £7,576,728, demonstrating the Conservative Government’s unwavering commitment to support the most vulnerable in times of financial hardship.
The Household Support Fund is a discretionary fund provided to local authorities enabling them to provide support to vulnerable families struggling to cover essential costs who may not be eligible for other Government support schemes.
The Conservative Government is also delivering further support on top of the £1 billion of funding for the Household Support Fund including means-tested £900 Cost of Living Payments, a £150 payment for disabled people, and £300 for pensioner households. The Conservative Government’s Energy Price Guarantee is also protecting people from rising energy costs this year and will remain in place until the end of March 2024.
If you have a national or local issue you would like to raise with me, please get in touch by emailing me on robert.buckland.mp@parliament,uk or by ringing 01793 533393.
Copyright ©The Rt Hon Sir Robert Buckland KBE KC MP 2023 All rights reserved.