A Durham autism conference called Ausome Enterprise is being held to help employers who are interested in providing jobs for people with autism.

The Ausome Enterprise autism conference will give County Durham businesses and employers an opportunity to find out about the benefits and the support available.

Hosted by Durham County Council's DurhamWorks team, the Ausome Enterprise conference is at Durham Town Hall in the city centre from 10am on Friday October 4, and is free to attend.

Ausome Enterprise autism conference is being organised by a working group which was set up to increase employment provision for people living with autism in County Durham. It is led by parents and carers and supported by Durham County Council, Durham Carers, the Department of Work and Pensions and other key partners.

Businesses, charities and other not-for-profit organisations are invited to attend the networking event, where they can hear from successful social enterprises already employing or training people with autism. This includes representatives from Cafe Beam in Gosforth, which is operated by the charity Smile for Life and provides work experience and training to people with disabilities.

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Newcastle-based see:detail, a software testing company that provides sustainable employment for people living with autism, will also be attending the Durham autism conference. The company draws on the strengths and talents of people with autism as part of its social enterprise, Autism Works.

People living with autism who are looking for work and their friends and families are also encouraged to attend.

Cllr Lucy Hovvels, cabinet member for adults and health services at Durham County Council, said: "The aim of this event is to showcase forward-thinking social enterprises from other areas with a view to replicating their success here in County Durham. The event is fully inclusive, and we are encouraging businesses, large and small, to attend.

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"We would also be delighted to welcome anyone with professional skills and advice that could help us achieve our goal."

Cllr Olwyn Gunn, cabinet member for children and young people's services at Durham County Council, said: "We want to ensure every child in County Durham grows up to reach their potential, which is why it is so important we work with parents, our partners and the business community to create job opportunities for people with autism.

"We know people living with autism have a great deal to offer employers in our county and we want to support organisations to harness their skills and talents and provide paid employment opportunities."

To register to attend the free Durham autism conference, go to eventbrite.co.uk and search for 'Ausome Enterprise'. Alternatively, contact Stuart Cannon, the council's supported internship co-ordinator, on stuart.cannon@durham.gov.uk

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