Learning for Life
Project SEARCH is a one year programme designed for young people with learning difficulties and disabilities who aspire to get into paid employment.
At present there are 7 interns within the group; 4 male and 3 female who are aged 17-19 years old. The interns have different learning needs related to communication, social interaction and self-help skills. For example we have diagnosis of ASD and additionally cerebral palsy.
There is one member of staff based with the interns: Mr James Wallace (Teacher). Charmane Jesson and Joe Potter (Job Coaches).
The interns access most of the curriculum in the workplace. They access a variety of environments based on their skills and ambitions. Examples would be Medical Equipment Library. Grounds maintenance, Linen services, IT services, Outpatients, Patient Escort, Logistics, Administration, Food Production and Food Retail. 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 applications are developed within classroom space on site at the City Hospital.
We start each day with interns independently travelling to their place of work arriving at the classroom for 9:00am. During time in class 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 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 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 skills employable skills which then can use should they apply for work at a later point.