Nine young people with learning disabilities have graduated from a Bath and North East Somerset Council scheme aimed at helping them into employment.
The interns took part in Project Search - an initiative led by the council in partnership with Bath College and Virgin Care to support young adults with learning disabilities into work.
Each year the council provides internships from September through to June in professional work environments. Bath College provides tutoring in an on-site classroom delivering an employability curriculum, which supports the interns’ work- based learning, and Virgin Care provides Job Coach support while the interns are out working in the placements.
The partners also work with local organisations to help individuals access and apply for employment opportunities. During the internship the group of young people learned transferrable work skills working in three different departments for 10 weeks at a time to prepare them for future employment.
Following a successful nine months each young person was presented with graduation certificates by Councillor Karen Walker, Chair of Bath and North East Somerset Council, at a ceremony in the Guildhall, in front of an audience of family members, programme partners, local businesses and council staff.
From the group five have now got paid employment and two have since received job offers all within the catering industry.
Councillor Paul Myers, (Conservative Midsomer Norton Redfield) cabinet member for Economic and Community Regeneration, said: “The teams involved were incredibly positive about being able to help these young people develop the skills they need to get sustainable employment. Each one of them will be of great benefit to an employer because of their hard-working attitudes which they have so successfully demonstrated during the programme. I want to wish them all every success with their future employment.”
The average employment rate for individuals aged 18–24 with a learning disability in the UK is just seven per cent. Every year, Project Search graduates have found community-based employment through the programme.