Department for Work and Pensions written question – answered on 20th May 2019.

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Photo of Thangam Debbonaire Thangam Debbonaire Opposition Whip (Commons)

To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, if she make it her policy to provide autism awareness training for staff in (a) her Department and (b) Jobcentres.

Photo of Will Quince Will Quince The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Work and Pensions

DWP has a Diversity and Equality Policy Statement. Every person working for the Department has a personal responsibility for implementing and promoting these commitments in their day-to-day dealings with customers, with each other and with employers and partners. Inappropriate behaviour is not acceptable.

DWP have developed Autism Awareness training for all DWP operational staff, using information from the National Autistic Society. This training explains what Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD) are and how they may impact on a claimants’ daily life, including how this impacts individuals differently. This helps DWP staff be aware of how they can offer appropriate support. The training also focuses on what support DWP can provide to help customers with ASD secure employment, highlighting the tailored support available and focusing on what positive strengths customers with ASD can offer a prospective employer.

Within the Fundamental Learning Journey for all DWP Operational roles, we have learning for Supporting Vulnerable Adults (hosted by Civil Service Learning), Safeguarding children and for Adults and Equality and Diversity.

There is DWP technical learning specifically for staff who need to look at medical evidence for particular medical conditions as part of their job role. This covers the likely care needs for more common medical conditions and signposts to more detailed guidance.

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