52 Aslett Street, London, SW18 2BN, United Kingdom
Supporting people with autism, Asperger's Syndrome or mild learning disabilities to find paid work.
Most employment agencies will tell you they can provide the perfect candidate for any job vacancies you push their way.
A Potential Diamond, a new initiative in the Gatwick Diamond area, won’t tell you that. For a start, they’re not interested in any vacancy - they’re only really interested in jobs that are basic-skilled with a minimum of multi-tasking. And even then they might not have, on first impression, the perfect candidate. But it’s possible they will have somebody who will grow into the perfect employee … a potential diamond.
All of the jobseekers the agency supports are likely to be 100% reliable, superb time-keepers and consistent hard-workers. They will also have autism, Asperger’s Syndrome or mild learning disabilities.
A Potential Diamond is run by Richard Lamplough, who has 20 years’ experience in supported employment. Whilst he gets a little funding from West Sussex County Council and Central Sussex College, most of the time he puts into the initiative is his own.
“In time, I’d love to form more permanent financial partnerships, hopefully with the private sector”, says Richard, “but for now I’m building the project from the community angle because often that’s what finding a job comes down to … who you know.”
A year ago Blake Edwards, who has Asperger’s Syndrome, was about to sign on at the Job Centre. As it turned out, he didn’t need to. Richard made a video-CV when Blake was in his last term at college, showed it to B&Q (who were recruiting for their new store in Burgess Hill), supported Blake at his interview and has regularly dropped in to check on Blake’s progress since his job start in September last year. Whilst there were one or two blips at the beginning, both B&Q and Blake are now confident that things are looking good for the future.