Young people with learning difficulties or disabilities, who want to increase their employability skills and find paid work, can apply for our Project SEARCH internship programme. Each year Bath & North East Somerset Council provides internships from September through to June in professional work environments. The interns learn transferrable skills working in three different departments for ten weeks. This year, our interns have worked in places such as B&NES Offices, Better Leisure Centre, The Roman Baths, Charlton House Care Home as well as many other places.
During their time on the course the interns receive on-site tutoring from Bath College and Job Coach support from Virgin Care. The partners also work with local organisations to help interns find vacancies and apply for jobs.
Two of this years cohort of Project SEARCH Interns have secured jobs and had a tea party to celebrate. Jake will be working as a Porter at The Roman Baths, a job he did on his first rotation of his internship. Jake is really excited to be starting his new job;
“The Roman Baths was my favourite job, and I’m really looking forward to starting at The Roman Baths!”
Jake’s Grandparents attended the tea party to celebrate and they were absolutely thrilled that he had secured his favourite job, they said:
“This time last year Jake was a very nervous boy, but Project SEARCH has really helped with his confidence. It’s wonderful to see him being social and happy”
Matthew, another Project SEARCH Intern has secured a job working as a Porter up at The University of Bath, and says he is ‘excited to do something new’. Matthew’s favourite rotation was working at The B&NES Offices, as he enjoyed being trained on how to use the computer for work.
Councillor Dine Romero, Council Leader said:
“This is the 12th year we’ve run Project SEARCH and over that time it’s proved hugely successful with our graduates finding community-based employment through the programme. It really is a fantastic way to experience the world of work while developing employability skills. At a time when the average employment rate in the UK for adults with a learning difficulty or disability has dropped to just six per cent, its essential we provide opportunities like this to help more young people find sustainable employment.”
Project Search is open to young people with learning difficulties or disabilities who are aged 18-25, and applications for next academic year are now open. If you know someone who would like to apply for a placement please click here to go to the Project SEARCH Application page.
Following successful completion of the nine-month internship graduates are presented with certificates at a special ceremony in front of an audience of family members, programme partners, local businesses and council staff.