Autism awareness week: ‘Disability’ delivers first class ability for Northampton employer

Often we are trained to view workers with a disability as ‘disadvantaged in the workforce’, however workers with autism would prefer to be seen as ‘differently abled’.

This has certainly proved to be the case for 45 year old Simon Hamilton, whose acute observation skills and attention to detail have proved to be a winning formula and helped to underpin a complete career change. Having held a variety of jobs in the hospitality and catering sector since leaving school, Simon has finally found a role where his unique skills are proving to be invaluable – as an Evidence Review Executive at Imperial Civil Enforcement’s (ICES) Business Processing Unit in Northampton.

Simon has had some frustrating employment experiences in the past, but after leaving his last job, Simon volunteered at the Northampton Job Centre to gain some experience of office work. He then registered with Remploy, the leading provider of specialist employment services to disabled people, to help him prepare for and secure sustainable employment that would accommodate and harness skills founded on his dyslexia and autistic tendencies.

ICES is a specialist developer and provider of advanced software and intelligence-led solutions for maximising service standards and efficiencies in parking, environmental management and urban traffic management. With a dedicated back office processing operation as well as comprehensive consultancy and training resources in Northampton, the company is one of the sector’s most respected, progressive and trusted operations.

After an initial trial at the enforcement specialist’s operation at The Lakes in Northampton, Simon was recruited in a full time role and has not looked back since.

“Everyone at ICES has made me really welcome,” says Simon. “And I’m really pleased I’m able to make a significant contribution to the company’s work for clients all over the country. I’m really enjoying the work and the people I’m working with. Before joining the company, however, I had absolutely no idea about the career opportunities in the parking industry. Who would have thought that it would prove to be such a perfect career fit for me?”

Simon works in the ICES evidence review team, which is responsible for reviewing CCTV and photographic evidence in connection with Penalty Charge Notices and Fixed Penalty Notices issued by local authorities and private parking service providers. Simon’s role focuses on CCTV video evidence, where his ability to identify even the slightest discrepancy or inconsistency in routine and repetitive tasks is truly second nature.  ICES Team Supervisor, Sarah Stockton-Kelly, explains how his natural skills are proving to be a real asset in his work:

“From the outset, it was obvious that Simon had uncanny observation skills,” says. “His attention to detail is exceptional and ideally suited for reviewing video footage because stringent rules apply to the appeals process for all PCNs and FPNs. His skills have also proved to be invaluable when reviewing the functionality of upgrades to our new software systems.

“Simon has proved to be a real asset to the team. We’re absolutely delighted he’s enjoying his work and has found such a fulfilling role, as he endured so many frustrating experiences in his previous jobs.”

Simon has lived in Northamptonshire for most of his life and is a keen musician having played as a percussionist with a popular local folk/rock band that toured the country a few years ago. For the past year, a Remploy an in-work support advisor has helped Simon settle into his new role at ICES and to review and support any specific requirements he may require in his work.  Remploy works in partnership with more than 2,500 employers, providing transformational employment opportunities to disabled people and those with complex needs.

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