Young people with autism get permanent jobs in BEC Financial Technologies

BEC Financial Technologies has hired three former interns from AspIT with diagnoses in the autism spectrum. “They have some special talents that we need,” says BEC.

BEC Financial Technologies is on Friday September 17th celebrating the permanent employment of three former interns from AspIT, an education program for young people with with autism spectrum disorders. At the same time, three new AspIT interns are joining the large Danish fintech company.

“This has given me a sense of security for my future. Apart from the financial aspect, it is great to have something to get out the bed for – solving tasks bigger than yourself. In addition, I have great colleagues, so that’s amazing,” says Nicolai Mortensen, former AspIT intern and now a junior software engineer in BEC.

Here he works with complex systems for data analysis – business intelligence – for BEC’s customers, which are small and large Danish banks such as Nykredit, Spar Nord and Arbejdernes Landsbank.

Four young people began internships in 2019 in BEC’s department in Herning. Two are now permanent employees in ordinary positions, one is permanently employed under the Danish flexible employment scheme (‘fleksjob’), and one has changed his internship to another company that better matches his competencies.

“We have succeeded in recruiting three talented, new colleagues with some special talents we need fordeveloping, testing and operating our IT solutions. These are skills such as a great ability to focus, a meticulous attention to detail, and thriving in methodical, repetitive tasks when, for example, we have to test our IT solutions, “says Bodil Hylleberg, head of BEC’s internal technology training, Tech Academy.

At the same time, three new interns have started or will soon start in new internship positions at BEC in Herning and Roskilde.

A self-sufficient, challenging working life

AspIT is a three-year IT education program for young people, with the last year in an internship in a company that is interested in a later permanent employment.

“Autism is a developmental disorder that is not an advantage in our modern society – but at the same time many of the young people at AspIT have some special skills, which with training and practice can be developed to create real value in businesses. At AspIT, we help young people to a normal, self-sufficient, and challenging working life,” says Head of Education Ole Bay Jensen, AspIT.

The AspIT education program consists partly of professional IT education, and partly of training in entering a workplace with the relationships and expectations in which autistic people must also be able to function.

“It’s been good being hired in BEC. I’ve had employment in a couple of other places, but here, it just clicked,” says Test Engineer Martin Lai, former AspIT intern.

In BEC, he works with automating the thorough tests that BEC conduct on all new IT solutions before they are released in the banking world.

“We love nerds”

BEC has invested time and effort in getting the trainees well into their teams. But basically, it has not been difficult for BEC to accommodate the new employees.

“We love nerds. Of course, one must be able to collaborate with customers and colleagues. But we also know that we have colleagues who can crush impressively complex issues, if only they get the right conditions to focus and dig deep into the problems that need to be solved. This applies from interns to some of our most experienced IT specialists,” says Bodil Hylleberg, BEC.

“When I first heard of BEC, I thought that the banking sector was only for people in fancy clothes. However, it’s completely relaxed people. And they have a lot of fun,” says Junior Software Engineer Ulrik Vesterlund Nielson, who is also a former AspIT intern.

At BEC, he has been trained to become a software engineer in the programming language cobol, in which many of BEC’s oldest, most central systems are built.

“It’s great. In the beginning, there was a lot I didn’t understand. But the more time you spend on it, the more you learn and better understand the system. And there are plenty of Cobol tasks for the future,” says Ulrik Vesterlund Nielson.