A Swindon MP, a huge local-based business and an autism group have teamed up to create jobs for neurodiverse people. 

The partnership between South Swindon MP Sir Robert Buckland, GAIN (group for autism, insurance, investment and neurodiversity) and Zurich was announced on Friday. 

This follows a recent future skills report by Kingston University, in partnership with YouGov, which said that the top five skills business leaders wanted in the future were skills that neurodivergent people typically have.

Neurodivergence is the term for when someone's brain processes, learns, and/or behaves differently from what is considered 'typical' and includes autism, ADHD, dyslexia, dyspraxia, and Tourettes among conditions. 

77 per cent of business leaders said problem-solving was important, 66 per cent wanted communication, 64 per cent asked for critical thinking and digital skills and 63 per cent thought analytical skills were needed. 

But a lack of opportunity and access has resulted in fewer than 1 in 7 neurodiverse individuals finding meaningful work.

When focusing on autism as a singular condition of neurodiversity, ONS figures state that only 22 per cent of autistic adults are in employment.

Sir Robert, who spoke at an event hosted by Zurich in London earlier this week explained:

"I am delighted that the insurance industry, championed by Zurich, which is based in my South Swindon Constituency, is taking the lead in creating opportunities for neurodiverse people across their sector. 

“With the help of fantastic new organizations like GAIN we will finally be able to harness the immense talents of neurodiverse people across the UK, driving the insurance sector forward, whilst also making it a more inclusive environment. 

“During my time as an MP, I have campaigned hard for the rights of those with autism and other neurodivergent individuals. I look forward to continuing that work alongside GAIN as we seek to create a workforce that better reflects the neurodiverse society in which we live." 

Barbara Schonhofer, Co-chair of GAIN said: “We welcome this industry-led drive towards neuroinclusive workplaces.

"There is a clear match between the talent needs of the industry and the skills and capabilities of neurodivergent individuals and until this time that match has generally not been made.

Tim Bailey, CEO Zurich, added: “We’re proud to be a founder member of GAIN. We know that our neurodivergent colleagues within Zurich bring a strong and differentiated skillset. We also know there is more that Zurich and the wider industry can do to make the world of work more accessible to all."