Project SEARCH Success

Project SEARCH has had its most successful year yet! Over half of the interns from last year’s cohort (2017/18) are now into paid employment. Ross is the latest to gain full time work with Kilnford Barns working in their kitchen help prepare their fantastic pies.

Another intern has just secured full time employment with Walsingham Support, a charity that has been supporting people with learning disabilities, autism, brain injuries and complex needs for more than 30 years. Chad came to Project SEARCH direct from school. He was very academic but further education wasn’t right for him. He struggled with travel and lived in a rural location 1 ½ hours travel from Dumfries. He also struggled with face to face communication. We worked with him on travel training and with support from Project SEARCH staff and mentors in the work placements, his front facing skills improved considerably. He was offered a modern apprenticeship through his mentor, but he wanted paid work closer to home. He was interviewed by Walsingham Support and a Project SEARCH staff member accompanied him to the interview for support. He didn’t get the job, but they were so impressed they offered him another part-time position. Less than a year later he is now in full time with the charity and travelling independently as far as London.

Project SEARCH’s primary objective is to secure competitive employment for people with learning disabilities and autistic spectrum conditions. Of all the programmes to help disabled people get into work, Project SEARCH has the highest success rate. The Scottish Government’s Disability Delivery Plan “A Fairer Scotland for Disabled People” is exploring opportunities to promote the model as part of the alignment of learning and skills provision. The model is listed as best practice in the 2010 Ofsted Review, the DWP Sayce Report and the Equalities and Human Rights Commission Review.

May 2019