Project SEARCH initiative can help new group of young people find work


Project SEARCH initiative can help new group of young people find work

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

The one-year internship programme – a partnership between Forth Valley College, NHS Forth Valley, SERCO, Falkirk Council Employment and Training Unit and Skills Development Scotland now in its second year - 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 second group of 10 young interns aged between 18-24, began their programme on Monday 26 August. They will experience work placements across a range of job areas, all based within the hospital, from Monday to Friday 9am-4pm.

The ten interns are: Dylan Allison (20), Zoe Andrews (19), Kyle Cochrane (24), Natalie Davidson (20), Hazel Griffith (19), Chloe Hendry (18), Sean McKinnon (18), Helen Smith (19), Ross Vickers (20) and Alexander Young (22).

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 transferable 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.

Ross Vickers (20) from Langlees in Falkirk, was meant to have a place on last year’s course, but was fortunate to be offered the chance of a kidney transplant and had his position deferred till this year. He, said: “I said that the only thing that would stop me starting the course last year was the offer of a kidney transplant and two months later I was having one! My place was deferred and I have been looking forward to starting the course. I am excited about it and hopefully it might lead to a job.”

Helen Smith (19) from Stenhousemuir, said: “I heard about the course while on a Workstart course at Forth Valley College. I am looking forward to the work placements and having a taste of several different jobs, which will give me an insight into what I might like to do. I am really looking forward to the possibility of securing a job at the end of the course too.”

Alan Ritchie, Lecturer in the Department of FVC’s Business and Communities Department, who is pictured here with the Project SEARCH group, said: “It’s great to have a new group starting with us on Project SEARCH. There has been a lot of work done behind the scenes, by all involved, to ensure that our interns get the best possible chance at making their learning work. I’m looking forward to helping them on their journey into paid employment.”

 Anyone wishing to find out more on the course should contact FVC on 01324 403000.


PS2 in class


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