Project recognised for engaging young neurodiverse learners

A partnership project between Perth College UHI and Perth Autism Support which prepared neurodiverse learners for further studies and future employment has been shortlisted for the College Development Network Awards 2021.

Perth College UHI worked with Perth Autism Support (PAS) to develop and deliver a bespoke course for young neurodiverse learners, who were interested in Cyber Security. The project provided an opportunity for autistic young people to attend College every week and gain new skills, confidence and knowledge for their future aspirations and transitions into college courses.

The programme provided a foundation knowledge and skills in data security and ethical hacking and a skills pipeline into the Cyber Security industry - to defend against ever increasing cyber-attacks.

Karen Downs, Perth College UHI Sector Manager - Skills for Life, Learning and Employment explained: “We are delighted that the project was so successful. It started as an opportunity for neurodiverse learners to learn about cyber security and consider a career that could match their skills and interests.

“However, supported College transitions, closer links with Perth Autism Support, and staff training to better support neurodiverse learners across the College have all been very welcome outcomes that enhance our student experience. We are proud of everything the students involved in this programme have achieved.”

Elaine Finnie, Employability and Community Development Manager, Perth Autism Support added: “It has been great to work in partnership with Perth College UHI and support some of our young people to engage and learn about Cyber Security within the programme, increasing and supporting their confidence in this area.

"They achieved all of this whilst contending with COVID19, changes within the project delivery due to restrictions and learned a new way of working that they had not experienced before. Their personal achievements are therefore a fantastic outcome to celebrate and their level of resilience and commitment has been a very positive end result to the project.”