Success for social enterprise supporting people with autism
Specialsterne has secured its first web design contract.
The social enterprise will create a web portal for the Glasgow Third Sector Forum to help coordinate the activities of voluntary organisations in the city.
Community Enterprise in Scotland helped set up Specialsterne, based on a Danish business model, in August last year with a focus on providing jobs for people who have autism.
The first 10 people to complete its six-month software engineering training programme will be working on the new contract.
David Farrell-Shaw, manager of Specialisterne Scotland, said: "Developing and implementing the training programme has been an incredible journey for all of us.
"Only 13 per cent of adults with autism are in full-time employment despite having specialist skills which offer businesses, such as information technology, telecommunications and financial services, a competitive advantage.
"People with autism can be extremely intelligent but society as a whole doesn't recognise this. Some employers find it difficult to make the small adjustments people need to allow then to flourish in the workplace. At Specialisterne we incorporate a supportive, safe environment into daily working life
"The training model developed here in Scotland could be applied to other countries as it is very focused on the specific needs of people with autism.
"We are currently in discussion with a number of IT firms about providing them with software testing services and hope to announce additional contracts soon."
Glasgow based Specialisterne is aiming to employ 50 people with autism by 2015 and have a turnover of £1.6 million.
The business, a wholly owned subsidary of Community Enterprise in Scotland, has received £700,000 from the Scottish Investment Fund, £407,000 from the Big Lottery and £30,000 from Glasgow City Council.