Meetings that Make a Difference

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Towards the back end of last year we had a great meeting with James Inman and his team at Inclusive Jobs. Great meetings are rare and the butt of many negative quotes and jokes. It’s easy to arrange a meeting but much harder to make things happen afterwards. I am not a fan of the meeting per se but when you have a meeting with a new organisation and you realise that together you can be better, then things change.

The meeting of two personalities is like the contact of two chemical substances: if there is any reaction, both are transformed.”

Carl Jung

Meetings are one thing but great partnerships and great outcomes are something else. I’d like to think that Digital Advantage and Inclusive Jobs had that chemistry. It was just before Christmas James was about to go and raise investment and we were reflecting after the successful launch of our DISC specialist college; nothing was going to happen before new year, but in the new year we were straight out of the blocks.

Inclusive Jobs was founded by James Inman, a serial entrepreneur who had long suspected and was just awaiting his autism diagnosis. James started out as a self-taught coder, sailed through degree courses (but not university) and then set up Inclusive Jobs as a commercial company to fill a real gap in the market: helping companies employ, support and recruit neurodivergent (ND) people. Inclusive Jobs provides training for employers, line managers and teammates, and a community for ND people. By understanding what employers can offer and neurodivergent people need, they match jobs between the two.

James Inman: CEO & Founder at Inclusive Jobs

Digital Advantage and DISC provide a supply of ND talent that we have worked with for some years. We now have talented young people coming through from outreach work we did 2-3 years ago; they are progressing onto our pre-internship programmes with a view to becoming a Supported Intern and then progressing to work with some of the more enlightened employers in the city. The challenge for us and for Inclusive Jobs is taking the good intentions of many employers and turning that into real opportunities for ND people, especially those with Autism where unemployment is still at a disgraceful 71%. 

James said: “We’re hugely excited to be involved in Get Autism and from the first time we spoke to the team at Digital Advantage it was clear how much passion we shared about improving opportunities for autistic people. I’m looking forward to working with our employers to showcase some of the incredible young people with autism and their skills, and to help them find the right roles for them as they navigate the workplace. Our shared goal is simple: inclusive businesses are better businesses.”

So between us we can shift the dial on this. There is no quick fix, rather a series of actions and little wins that will see progress made. Our teams have been introduced and are working together. Inclusive Jobs will be a partner in, and advocates for our GetAutism campaign. We will look to match some of our talented coders, software engineers, marketeers, designers and videographers with work placements and look to convert those to jobs and careers. We will look to explore remote working opportunities with workers based at SENDCode, our supported work environment. None of this will happen overnight and will undoubtedly need further meetings, but if those meetings cement a strong working partnership, and if we can create more awareness of the potential for ND employment and the (financial) support available to help employers, then that meeting before Christmas will have been worth it. Watch this space and sign up to our GetAutism campaign to see how this partnership evolves and what difference we can make together.