Monday 14 October 2019 12:01 am

Hire dyslexic people to cover skill shortages, says report

Hiring dyslexic people will help companies cover skills shortages as workplaces become increasingly automated, according to a new report.

People with dyslexia possess “specific strengths” that will be increasingly in demand as companies adopt technologies such as machine learning, say EY and charity Made by Dyslexia.

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In a report released today, the groups says dyslexic individuals show strength in areas such as leadership and creative thinking that are growing more important as demand for for reading and memory skills decline.

“For decades dyslexic individuals have been expected to ‘fit in’, measured and benchmarked for the very skills they find challenging,” said Kate Griggs, founder and CEO of Made by Dyslexia.

“Now, technology is replacing the need for these skills. In contrast dyslexic thinking skills are the ‘in demand’ skills in this changing world of work.”

Around one in 10 people in the UK has dyslexia, a neurological condition that can lead to impaired writing and organisational skills, according to the NHS – though some experts have argued the actual number may be higher. About one in 25 people have the more acute form of the condition.

As well as problems with visual and auditory processing, dyslexia can also impact coordination and organisational skills. However, Made by Dyslexia say dyslexic people may demonstrate skills in the areas of visualisation, communication and reasoning.

Citing data from the World Economic Forum’s Future of Jobs report, the groups said wide labour force changes and the increasing influence integration of computers in the workplace meant that problem-solving skills and instincts for innovation were would become more essential to employers.

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“Our analysis shows that competencies for a significant number of jobs in the workplace that dyslexic individuals may typically find challenging will largely be impacted by forms of automation,” said Made by Dyslexia.

“In their place, enhanced tasks and new jobs will be created that match closely to the strengths of dyslexic thinking,” it added.