SCOTLAND has become the first country in the United Kingdom to launch a programme to support neurodivergent workers. 

Neurodiversity charity Salvesen Mindroom Centre has launched its Neuroinclusion At Work Programme, backed by the Scottish Government. 

It aims to help those with neurodivergence, such as autism, dyslexia and dyspraxia. 

It is hoped the scheme can reach one million workers by 2026 and will support employers to become more aware, informed and empowered to take action to support individuals within their workplace.

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It is among a total of 13 projects supported by the Scottish Government’s Workplace Equality Fund, which aims to address long-standing barriers in the labour market to make Scotland a Fair Work Nation. 

CEO of Salvesen Mindroom Centre Alan Thornburrow said: “Employers that recognise, embrace and support neurodiversity are poised to attract and retain the best employees. 

“That’s why we’ve introduced the UK’s first Neuroinclusion At Work programme to help forward-thinking employers support and develop a neurodiverse workforce. 

“We know that 15%-20% of the global population are neurodivergent and we think there are significant opportunities to enable neurodivergent employees to thrive and for employers to build fully inclusive teams.”

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

It is hoped training can help break down some of the workplace barriers neurodivergent people often face. 

Thornburrow added: “Over the next few months, we’ll be bringing more partners into the programme. If diversity is important in your workplace, this could be the way to unlock talent and support your team. 

“This is undoubtedly the next step on the way to achieving equity in the workplace. I would urge employers with interest in this space to work with us as we break new ground.”

Inclusion and wellbeing manager at Burness Paull Emma Smith said they want to “recognise everyone is an individual” and create an environment “where all our people can succeed”. 

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She added: “As part of our work to attract and retain the best talent in the legal sector, we’ve embedded this in everything we do.

“We’re committed to continuing on our journey to ensure equal opportunity for all, and neuroinclusion is a natural next step for us.

“We’re proud to be the first organisation to partner Salvesen Mindroom Centre’s Neuroinclusion At Work programme and are really looking forward to working with the team to drive forward change.”