AFP providing meaningful employment opportunities to neurodivergent talent

This branch is comprised of specialised areas that provide covert and technical support to AFP investigations, including data and digital surveillance collection.

The AFP has received a boost to its workforce thanks to the rollout of a new recruitment initiative for skilled neurodivergent individuals.

The Dandelion Program aims to connect talented neurodivergent people, specifically Autistic individuals, with meaningful employment opportunities while combatting skill shortages and creating more inclusive workplaces.

The AFP launched the program in July this year, welcoming six new starters and a neurodiversity consultant to its Covert and Technical Operations (CTO) branch.

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This branch is comprised of specialised areas that provide covert and technical support to AFP investigations, including data and digital surveillance collection.

Image AFP Dandelion Program (Source: AFP)

The AFP’s Dandelion Program participants each demonstrated a strong technical aptitude during the recruitment assessment and successfully entered a two-year traineeship with the AFP Digital Surveillance Collection Team.

AFP Commander Rob Nelson said that the Dandelion Program had provided a welcomed boost to workforce talent at the AFP.

“The rollout of the Dandelion Program has been a game changer for the AFP. It has enabled us to recruit a range of enthusiastic individuals who are passionate about the AFP and law enforcement, and keeping Australians safe.”

The roles will allow the new recruits to further develop their already demonstrated innate abilities in software development and data analytics skills to support the AFP’s world-leading digital surveillance and data analytics programs.

The traineeship program is managed by DXC IT, which oversees the selection, recruitment and support of trainees for AFP roles.

AFP Commander Nelson added:

“It’s a fantastic partnership. We have seen incredible success with the new participants who have joined our ranks. This initiative has also provided specialised recruitment and support services for members of the neurodivergent community find fulfilling careers.”

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Throughout the program the trainees gain vocational experience at the AFP while DXC supports participants with life and work skills.

Image AFP Dandelion Program (Source: AFP)

After the traineeship, the AFP then has the opportunity to employ the members full-time.

Participants in the Dandelion Program are fully supported by the AFP to undertake their role.

Participants are provided with a Neurodiversity Consultant who assists them with relevant skills to help them adapt to the work environment. This means individuals who are part of the Dandelion Program at the AFP are supported every step of the way.

Through the Dandelion Program, the AFP ensures trainees are offered confidential and customised one-to-one workplace support, guidance, coaching, counselling, and training to navigate the workplace.

The AFP plans to open the Dandelion Program to more commands across the AFP next year.

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