Project SEARCH is a one year programme designed for young people with learning difficulties and disabilities who aspire to get into paid employment.
In the 2017-18 group there are 4 interns; 3 male and 1 female aged 17-18 years old. The interns have different learning needs related to memory, communication, social interaction and self-confidence.
As of May 2018, 2 members of the current year group are currently working in paid employment, in the Logistics, and Busy Bees departments
The permanent member of staff based with the interns is Mr James Wallace (Teacher).
The interns access most of their curriculum in the workplace. They access a variety of environments, based on their skills and ambitions. Examples would be Medical Equipment Library. Cleaning services, Patient Escort, Logistics and Food Production. All the interns work towards developing their employability skills, this is predominately learned within the workplace. Additionally skills such as social interaction, communication, work readiness, CV building and job applications are developed within a training area on site at the City Hospital.
We start each day with the interns independently travelling to their place of work arriving at the classroom for 9:00am. During time in the classroom we undertake positive preparation for the interns working day. The departments the interns access are different in both their rules, requirements and the training they offer. We encourage interns to spend their lunch times with their co-workers to develop social interaction. Enrichment is often led by the employer. Interns will have the opportunity to be involved in events training and social activities within their departments.
We work closely with a range of other professionals such as the Nottinghamshire County Council i-work team and the NHS staff at Nottingham University Hospitals to provide quality internships for our young people to access. Interns are still able to access the services of the specialist staff that work with Foxwood students, for example, Transitions workers, Occupational Therapists and Speech and Language Therapists when needed. Communication between home and the Academy is especially important. SEARCH staff predominately use email to communicate with parents as well as regularly inviting parents on to site for employment planning meetings.
For those interns who make good progress they often move in to paid jobs. If an intern is unsuccessful in acquiring a job they have the option of attending college, volunteering, or working with specialist services and groups such as Remploy, Space Inclusive or iWork. All interns will leave with range of employability skills which they can use should they apply for work at a later point.