We have been working with UHNM Learning - Education & Widening Participation Department, Sodexo and Local Authorities to plan towards launching Project SEARCH at UHNM in 2018.
Project SEARCH is an employment focused education programme which aims to give our students the opportunity to develop employability skills and get hands on experience in the workplace.
Background to the Project
In 1990 a programme employing individuals with disabilities in hospitals and clinics within the Cincinnati metropolitan area in Ohio, USA was introduced. The programme was run in partnership with local education providers and resulted in permanent employment being achieved for over 70 individuals with disabilities. The project has since been replicated across 9 states in the USA and has now spread tp Europe. There are now over 300 Project SEARCH sites worldwide, and Newfriars College is to be the first in Staffordshire.
Project SEARCH is a targeted programme of employment training and support for young people with learning disabilities. The model runs over an academic year and students work in three placements between September and June. They start and finish each day in their Project SEARCH classroom on site where they discuss what they have been doing that day, participate in skills training and carry out supported job searches with the support of their Job Coach.
By working in a number of placements over the course of the year, students are able to demonstrate skills and experience they can use when looking for paid work. Students are supported by their Job Coaches in either finding similar work on site with the host employer or with other employers. Current NHS Trusts that have regular cohorts of Project SEARCH students that have gone on to achieve full time employment include Bath, Nottingham, ST Georges (London), Plymouth, Devon, Bradford and Wakefield.
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