The Australian Government Department of Human Services and Hewlett-Packard Enterprise Australia, together with Specialisterne Australia commenced “The Dandelion Program” in September 2014 to provide skilled employment for people living with Autism Spectrum Disorder.
The program name is derived from the dandelion logo for the Specialist People Foundation, whose aim is to enable 1 million jobs to people with autism and similar challenges worldwide.
The program has been successfully implemented in Adelaide, Brisbane and Canberra and creates teams of people within an innovative delivery model to support software testing within DHS using HPE’s market leading testing methods and tools.
“The partnership with HP and DHS is unique and will act as a role model demonstrating how people with autism can become independent tax payers, contribute to the market economy and realise their potential in the workforce. I am very pleased with the results we have seen so far, and I look forward to research through their research partner Olga Tennison Autism Research Centre at La Trobe University.”
For the first time in the world, the Dandelion program has been extended to include cyber security jobs within the Australian Department of Defence. Initially, successful applicants were hired in trainee positions as Cyber Security Analysts. The program includes training in the key skills needed to work in the Department of Defence Cyber Security Team. The role of a Cyber Security Analyst tasks varies from simple to medium and complex data analysis and over time, they will be trained in performing more and more complex cyber security tasks.
This innovative program has now been implemented at the Department of Immigration and Boarder Protection. Using the Specialisterne assessment and recruitment approach individuals on the autism spectrum were hired by HPE and are now working as Test Analyst in Canberra.