Nine students with learning disabilities have graduated from the Project SEARCH programme in Wakefield in a ceremony held on Thursday morning (18 July) at Pinderfields Hospital after completing their yearlong internships.
Over a ten-month period, the nine interns have developed the employment skills necessary to help them acquire their first paid job.
Three of the interns have gainfully secured permanent employment at the hospital after completing a series of internships throughout the past ten months in a number of departments including Recruitment, Domestics and the Infusion Unit.
Since Project Search was first introduced at Pinderfields Hospital in 2017, 15 students have successfully completed work placements, with a total of six finding employment opportunities within the hospital. The Project Search team at The Mid Yorkshire Hospitals NHS Trust continue to work with the other former students with the aim of helping them to secure jobs in the wider Wakefield Community.
In attendance at the graduation ceremony were eight of the interns and their families and friends, the Mayor of Wakefield Cllr Charles Keith and his granddaughter, and several rotation department representatives from catering, HSDU, Estates, Portering, Engie, Infusion Unit, Domestics, Medical Physics, IT, Recruitment, Cardiac Rehab Service, Access, Booking and Choice, Pharmacy, Medical records, ABACUS Nursery, Pontefract & Dewsbury catering services.
Martin Barkley, Chief Executive, of The Mid Yorkshire Hospitals NHS Trust, said; “This is a fantastic initiative, making a real difference to young people to support and help them overcome barriers and difficulties, to be ready for and obtain employment. I am so grateful to our partner organisations, the Project Search team, as well as our staff who have helped the interns.”
Sarah Palmer, Project SEARCH tutor at The Mid Yorkshire Hospitals NHS Trust, added, “Thank you to everyone who attended our Project Search intern’s graduation. It was a fantastic event! We are delighted that three of our interns are in full time employment already at the Trust and the other interns are continuing to apply for jobs and attend interviews. We wish them all a successful future.”