J. Murphy & Sons Limited has become the first construction company in the UK to join the Employ Autism programme after signing a new autism charter.

Through the Employ Autism programme, Murphy will provide paid internships to autistic candidates, with training provided by Ambitious about Autism to ensure that the internships are successful. The programme will be rigorously evaluated to encourage replication and influence policy and practice, helping to increase autistic people in full-time employment and enabling workplaces to be truly neurodiverse.

This initiative is part of Murphy’s holistic approach to addressing underrepresentation, which includes its Kickstart programme providing job opportunities for more than 50 long-term unemployed young people aged 16-24; its work with the Home Office offering up to 175 refugees employment opportunities across a variety of roles; its work with Berwyn Prison creating a long-term, sustainable training and employment rehabilitation journey for prison leavers; among other social initiatives. It also forms part of Murphy’s purpose, which is to improve life by delivering world-class infrastructure.

Employ Autism is a programme developed by Ambitious about Autism, the national charity standing with autistic children and young people, which aims to provide autistic people with access to paid internships and employability support. Working in partnership with the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP), Ambitious about Autism has created the Covenant for Employers to encourage businesses to commit to creating employment opportunities for autistic people. Murphy is the first construction company to sign up to the charter.

Dawn Moore, Group People and Communications Director at Murphy, said:

"We are proud to be the first construction company in the UK to sign the autism charter and join the Employ Autism programme. Murphy is committed to creating a great place to work where our people feel secure and comfortable to be themselves - providing opportunities to those who are traditionally underrepresented in our industry and supporting them in their career progression is a key part of this. We look forward to working with Ambitious about Autism and other partners in the Employ Autism network to achieve our common goal of increasing diversity and inclusion in the workplace."

Jolanta Lasota, Chief Executive of Ambitious about Autism, added:

“We are delighted to welcome Murphy to the Employ Autism programme and thank them for standing with autistic young people. With only 29% of autistic people in any form of employment, it is vital that businesses across the UK commit to creating more diverse and inclusive workplaces and we hope other employers will join Murphy in doing so. We look forward to working with them to achieve our goal of helping autistic young people realise their ambitions.”