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Yorkshire Water joins forces to raise awareness of autism

World Autism Awareness Week has brought together the Lighthouse Futures Trust in Leeds and Yorkshire Water to boost awareness of the condition. 

We are part way through a yearlong internship programme for students with an autistic spectrum condition. The interns are from the Lighthouse school in Cookridge which is a school for young people (aged 11 to 19) with an autistic spectrum condition or related communication disorder.

Parents of children with these conditions set up Lighthouse School, which is Yorkshire’s first special free school, with the backing of the Department of Education.

The interns have been working in various parts of the business including; IT, Finance and Payroll. To mark World Autism Awareness Week, the interns visited Headingley Water Treatment Works with their local MP Greg Mulholland to understand more about the technical side of the business. The interns also organised a fund raising stall at head offices in Bradford during the week. 

The interns enjoyed a tour of the works, which supplies clean safe drinking water to the whole of Leeds, and had a chat with Greg Mullholland about the roles they're doing at Yorkshire Water. 

Emily Brady from Yorkshire Water said: “It’s great to see the interns out and about learning more about what Yorkshire Water does. The internship programme is a vital way of building their confidence and communication skills to prepare them for the workplace. 

“Once the interns have finished their placement we’ll be encouraging them to apply for our apprenticeship scheme or entry level roles that we offer. The fact that only 6% of adults with learning disabilities in England are in paid employment is shocking, and as a National Equality Standard certified company we’re challenging that by doing all we can to widen our recruitment pools.”

Local MP Greg Mulholland said: “I was delighted to visit Yorkshire Water’s Headingley Treatment Works with Lighthouse School. It was great to see the work that they are to doing to ensure that their recruitment process is accessible to all, and it is something that more companies need to be doing locally and nationally.

“Yorkshire Water are right to highlight the shockingly low proportion of adults with learning difficulties who are in paid employment, and I am pleased to see that they are taking steps to increase that proportion here in Leeds.”



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