Blyth painting and decorating company to empower people with autism with inclusive employment initiative

Justin Dobson, owner of JustRight Decorators, who are creating an apprenticeship programme for autistic individuals.
Justin Dobson, owner of JustRight Decorators, who are creating an apprenticeship programme for autistic individuals. -Credit:Justin Dobson

A Blyth-based painting and decorating company is set to empower people with autism with an inclusive employment initiative.

Justin Dobson, who owns local business JustRight Decorators, is dedicated to creating a positive impact in the community.

Justin worked with autistic apprentices in his previous job at a larger company, and now that he has his own business, he is looking to help others. The scheme is part of a pioneering painter apprenticeship programme which aims to change lives and inspire a wave of inclusivity across the world of trade.

The aim of the programme is to create a specialised painter apprenticeship that provides a nurturing and supportive environment for young autistic people to thrive and cultivate valuable skills in the painting and decorating industry. This apprenticeship will offer participants a pathway to a rewarding career while working to reshape the narrative around autism and employment.

According to statistics from the UK Government, just 30% of autistic people in the country were estimated to be in employment in 2022/2023. Despite JustRight Decorators being a small company, they recently completed a project at the iconic Strawberry Pub next to St James' Park, which is synonymous with Newcastle United.

As part of their commitment to inclusivity, they are offering free paintwork for select projects involving autistic apprentices and are looking to promote the programme and raise awareness about the importance of inclusive employment practices.

Justin said: "From my previous experience, autistic individuals have been some of the most hardworking people I have worked alongside, due to their attention to detail and ability to take instruction very well. I have family members with autism so I think that it is important that we show that there is room in the trade for them.

"I really want to inspire young people with autism, as well as their parents, and would love it if other companies followed our example. My next step will be to look at the options I have from the perspective of Government grants for this, and I am looking forward to introducing autistic individuals to the trade."