Project SEARCH can help young people find work

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Project SEARCH can help young people find work

Young people with learning disabilities in the Falkirk area are on the hunt to find a job with the help of Project SEARCH.

The one-year internship programme – a partnership between Forth Valley College, NHS Forth Valley, SERCO, Falkirk Employment and Training Unit and Skills Development Scotland -  supports young people with learning difficulties to gain skills and experience aimed at helping them move into sustainable employment.

Based at Forth Valley Royal Hospital in Larbert, the first group of 11 young interns aged between 18-24, began their course on Monday 27 August. They will experience work placements across a range of job areas, all based within the hospital, from Monday to Friday 9am-4pm.

On-site, interns will be assisted throughout by a college lecturer and a job coach – FVC’s Jean Allan - as well as hospital staff and supervisors. The programme helps interns to learn real job skills that will prepare them for work by rotating them through a variety of different work placement experiences. This work-based learning is then supported by classroom activities each day, as well as regular discussion and feedback from supervisors throughout the programme.

Charlotte Laidlaw (18), said: “I am very excited about starting this course and even though I have only been here for a few days, I am really enjoying it. I hope to have more experiences which will lead me to securing a job at the end of it.”

Liam Nolan (23), said: “I have never done anything like this before, but I am enjoying it and it might lead to a job at the end of the course.”

Alan Ritchie, Lecturer in the Department of FVC’s Business and Communities Department, who is pictured here with the first Project SEARCH group, said: “This is a fantastic opportunity for Forth Valley College to work with our partners to support these young people to gain skills and experience that will, hopefully, get them meaningful employment. It is early days but, the group are all highly motivated to work hard and succeed, which I’m sure they will.”

Funding has been secured for Project SEARCH for two years and anyone wishing to find out more on the course which will start again in 2019 should contact FVC on 01324 403000.

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