A new organisation, called Purple, has been created to improve employment opportunities for people with disabilities.
Purple was launched by Holby City’s Jules Robertson and leading figures from some of the UK’s largest public and private sector organisations at the London Stock Exchange earlier this month.
Robertson, who was recently cast as Jason Haynes, a young man with Aspergers, on BBC’s Holby City, helped support the launch by encouraging businesses to ‘think outside the box and hire people who think differently’ as part of their employment strategies.
The launch of Purple comes as new research shows almost half of UK businesses (45%) are apprehensive about hiring someone with a disability because of fears they won’t be able to do the job and concerns about making inappropriate comments or actions, according to new research.
The organisation is unique in offering both consultancy and recruitment services to help businesses drive inclusive employment strategies, whilst providing disabled people with greater levels of employment support. It aims to help more than 20,000 disabled people to find permanent jobs over the next decade, whilst simultaneously matching 25,000 personal assistants to disabled employers.
Robertson said: “Autistic people have amazing talents: some are very good with figures; some have very high IQ’s. They could add value to your business, and a job would help them value themselves. I can’t tell you how liberating it is to be finally earning a wage.
“Until recently my current account reminded me of all the girls I try to chat up – not showing the slightest interest. So it’s absolutely great to finally be able to tell my money where to go instead of wondering where it went. I encourage you to think outside the box and hire people who think differently, and who think laterally. So be brave, take a gamble by employing us. You won’t regret it.”