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This pilot study explored the effectiveness of workplace training programme that aimed to enhance the work-related behaviours in individuals with autism and intellectual disabilities.Fourteen participants with autism and mild to moderate intellectual disability (mean age = 24.6 years) were recruited. The workplace training programme included practices in work context and group educational sessions. A pre-test–post-test design was used with the Work Personality Profile, the Scale of Independent Behaviour Revised and the Observational Emotional Inventory Revised to evaluate the targeted behaviours.Improvement in social and communication skills specific to the workplace was achieved. For emotional control, participants became less confused and had a better self-concept. However, improvement in other general emotional behaviours, such as impulse control, was limited.The results indicated that a structured workplace training programme aimed at improving social, communication and emotional behaviours can be helpful for people with autism and intellectual disability.Further study with a larger sample size and a control group is recommended. The development of specific programme to cater for the emotional control needs at workplace for people with autism is also suggested. Copyright © 2013 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.