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First neurodivergent work support programme launches in UK

Neurodiversity charity Salvesen Mindroom Centre has launched the first UK government-backed support programme for neurodivergent workers.

Launched in Scotland, the Neuroinclusion at Work programme aims to help employers better understand neurodivergent conditions, such as autism, dyslexia and dyspraxia, so they're in a better place to help workers in their organisation.

The scheme is one of 13 projects funded by the Scottish government's Workplace Equality Fund, and it aims to reach one million workers by 2026.

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A spokesperson for Salvseen Mindroom Centre said that the programme was formed to help neurodivergent workers showcase their potential.

They told HR magazine: "Around 15-20% of the global population are neurodivergent - representing a huge portion of the UK's workforce. 

"Neuroinclusion at Work is needed to demystify neurodiversity, help to break down workplace barriers that neurodivergent people often face, and ultimately seek to foster an environment where employers are enabled to recruit, develop and retain neurodivergent colleagues.

"Many people with neurological conditions such as autism spectrum disorder and dyslexia have extraordinary skills that can give businesses a real competitive advantage, yet the recruitment process is often difficult to navigate for these individuals."

Commercial law firm Burness Paull and global investment manager Martin Currie will be among the first businesses to USE the programme.

Nicole Donne, consultant at charity Neurodiversity in Business, said the scheme represented a positive step forward for neurodiverse individuals.

She told HR magazine: "This is a fantastic step towards true inclusion in the workplace. This is a significant step in the neurodiversity movement to ensure accessibility for the often excluded 10 million Britons affected.

"I hope to see ethical education resources, support offerings and assistance to navigate reasonable adjustments in the workplace for the most common needs, also reach into the finer details around conditions like Rejection Dysphoria, Sensory Sensitivity and how workplaces can truly engage on an individualiSed basis so that each member of an organisation has the opportunity to thrive."