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Special kind of people.

Byline: Brody Swain The BBC Coventry & Warwickshire presenter

GETTING a job can be a challenging process, from writing CVs to attending the dreaded interview and then of course there's the pressure of starting the job itself.

This can be made a lot more difficult for people with autism, but one local business has teamed up with the Job Shop to help young people with autism get a foot in the workplace door.

The Gym Chef, a company selling a range of seasoning products to help support healthy eating and special dietary needs, has been working with the Job Shop in Coventry City Centre as part of a work and wellbeing programme.

Gurpal Virdee, the owner of the company, joined me on my afternoon show on Wednesday along with Craig Warner, a Specialist Disability Job Coach and Jack Reeves. Craig has been mentoring Jack, who has autism, for 18 months and thanks to the support of The Gym Chef and Job Shop, Jack has now been offered permanent employment.

Gurpal first approached the Job Shop and was told they could provide his company with employees for his growing business. They spoke to him about the benefits of offering work experience to those on the autistic spectrum as a way of not only helping his business but also helping them to gain much needed confidence and support in the workplace.

At first he thought that Jack and Kelsey, who also works with the company, would struggle with the daily pressures of the job, however he quickly realised that he had nothing to worry about. After a couple of weeks he could see they are just young people more than capable of doing the job who need to be given a chance.

I have a lot of respect for Gurpal because I think it takes a very special kind of person and business to offer experience to those with autism. There can be many challenges along the way but the benefits certainly outweigh them. I'm sure Jack and Kelsey are delighted with their new jobs and I wish them all the very best for the future.

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Title Annotation:Features
Publication:Coventry Evening Telegraph (England)
Date:Dec 1, 2017
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