Nine students with learning disabilities have graduated from a unique pre-employment program, Project SEARCH, at the Mid Yorkshire Hospitals NHS Trust (MYHT) in a celebratory ceremony held at Pinderfields Hospital, after completing their yearlong internship.
Of the nine students, five graduates have already secured permanent employment since completing their internship; one at MYHT and four outside of the Trust.
Project SEARCH, which launched in September 2017, helps young people aged 17 – 25 with learning disabilities gain the skills they need to get meaningful paid jobs.
During their time on the programme, the interns complete a series of internships in a number of departments such as Recruitment, Domestics and the Infusion Unit, they are matched to their placements by talent, ability and interests.
Lewis Nichol, Porter and recent project SEARCH graduate said;
“I enjoyed project SEARCH because I liked meeting new people and exploring all the different work experiences. It has helped me with my confidence and find my happiness.
“Becoming a Porter appealed to me the most because every one of the Porters were very helpful and I like to help others. I’m very happy about being part of the team.”
Len Richards, Chief Executive of The Mid Yorkshire Hospitals NHS Trust, said;
“Congratulations to our interns and the Project SEARCH team for all the hard work they have put in over the past year. Project SEARCH is a brilliant programme that provides real life work experience combined with training in employability and independent living skills.
Jobs are not guaranteed on Project SEARCH. All interns who find paid employment have done so through showing a good work ethic, determination and hard work.
The courses continued success is a credit to all involved.”