STAFF at a Renfrewshire job centre are taking part in a pilot scheme to help people with autism get into work.

The joint venture between the UK Government and National Autistic Society (NAS) aims to transform the service available to jobseekers on the autism spectrum.

A team of work coaches are looking at how they can support disabled jobseekers with tools such as automated captions, which will help with job applications and interviews, as well as helping employers understand the additional needs of autistic staff.

The Jobcentre Plus office in Paisley is one of just seven in Scotland to trial the new autism-friendly framework.

Around one in 100 Renfrewshire residents are autistic and, according to NAS, autistic people of working age are often “locked out” of employment due to a lack of understanding from employers.

It is hoped the new framework will break down these barriers and see more autistic people in jobs they love.

Chloe Smith, Minister for Disabled People, said: “Everyone deserves an equal opportunity to find a job they love and to progress in their career but we know we must do more to help people with autism. By testing this autism framework and offering new specialist training to our job centre staff, we are helping to deliver more employment opportunities for those who would otherwise feel locked out.”

The test project will be completed by the end of March and, if successful, the framework could be rolled out to more job centres across the UK.

Christine Flintoft-Smith, head of autism accreditation at NAS, said: “Our framework of best practice has been developed with input from autistic people, specifically for job centres.

“We want all job centre staff to understand autism, be able to think about their practice and make the necessary changes to the support and environment that autistic people need.”