19 year old George Price has just started his first ever paid job for BNP Paribas in Bristol, one of the largest banks in the world.
His Manager describes him as “100% accurate, thorough, fast and focused” and he has won the hearts and minds of his entire team.
George is on the autistic spectrum and has never worked before. His condition means that unless you know him well, he is unable to communicate verbally, and finds eye contact and any form of physical contact extremely difficult.
Pluss delivers Work Choice, the Department for Work and Pensions specialist disability employment programme. Work Choice receives funding from the European Social Fund for customers referred to the programme prior to 25th April 2017.
“I am a Facilities Assistant at BNP Paribas” explains George, “The part of the job that I most enjoy is learning new tasks; for example learning how to search for letters on the computer and scanning invoices. I am really good at spotting mistakes made on documents. I am also very good at the e-learning modules I have passed each test first time and got 100%”
“I am always hard working, quick to learn new tasks and I also have very good mathematical skills as I got a B grade at A level maths”.
“I have autistic spectrum disorder. It affects my everyday life by hypersensitivity to noise. I find busy, noisy environments and verbal communications very difficult. I like notes and email to communicate. I also find eye contact and hand shaking hard, and I find sudden changes in routine difficult to manage. These things made finding work difficult for me. In the past I feel that I have been judged as less intelligent just because I am less verbal. I was worried about interviews”
“Pluss were able to organise a work trial at BNP Paribas instead of interview which was much better for me to show my skills. I have a work buddy called Mike who is very good at giving clear instructions. Mike has also helped me with instant messenger so I can communicate without verbal communication. Now I get on very well with everyone in my team.
“The success in the e-learning module has given me confidence that this career might be for me and I am good at it. Making friends at work has helped me with my verbal communication - like Mike, who I am confident enough to speak to now. I am no longer claiming ESA benefit and am financially better off now I am working; I feel better earning my money.
"I feel very happy to be offered the job at BNP Paribas and relieved to finally have a job.”
Alex Wakely, PA to head of Technology Solutions
“George’s skills are extremely beneficial to a financial company. He has a keen eye for detail which is paramount to the tasks he performs. He takes a methodical approach to his tasks, is focused, thorough and is getting faster and faster, now whizzing through the work. He has such a unique attention to detail and doesn’t get distracted. He also has had 100% accuracy. These are valuable skills for the nature of his work as he has to process important legal documents.
“George has settled into the team very quickly. He has a ‘buddy’, Mike, who introduces new tasks and assists with any problems. George communicates with all the other team members and we have established a variety of ways to ensure that George is comfortable in the office. Just recently George joined us for a team lunch in a restaurant and we were all very happy he came with us.”
“Having George work with us has made us realise that many of our processes could be much simpler and we have made changes that will make us more efficient as a business. For example, we started a weekly email for George detailing activity for the week ahead to help him prepare. We now use this for all staff which has helped to increase communication across the team.
"The whole team at BNP Paribas has shown great enthusiasm for having George as part of the team. In fact, the response from staff has been overwhelming. George brings skills to the table that many people do not have and we are fortunate to have him with us.
“Pluss have offered great support and have been instrumental in guiding us to implement most of our strategies. Fortunately as time has gone on, George has required less and less support but it is always on hand when needed. Pluss arranged for two sessions of autism awareness training and has given continued assistance with preparations and advice in making the working environment comfortable for George. They also come into the office each month to review George’s progress and work through additional adjustments that we can make. I would certainly recommend Pluss to other employers."