Project SEARCH is a unique model originating from Cincinnati, which sees a Business team up with an Educator and Supported Employment to run a course that provides a mixture of structured work placements and classroom learning and it all happens in the work place. The aim is employment for young people with significant disabilities.
What is also unusual is the instead of work experience placements there are 3 Internship Rotations each lasting 10 weeks with intensive learning of skills facilitated by Supported Employment. The ultimate goal upon the one year program completion is that the students can gain employment using the skills learned on the internships. Project SEARCH represents a new approach to developing sustainable employment opportunities by working within a large corporate environment to deliver on site learning and support. A big employer hosts the program by providing a training room on-site.
A room in the Guildhall has been turned into a specially created training room for the students [interns] to receive tailored tuition, coaching and discuss their experiences of work. A dedicated tutor from Bath College and Supported Employment from Virgin Care are based in the training room with the students.
The Business Liaison role will help the council make Project SEARCH a success.
The council has joined a successful and rapidly growing international network that is changing the face of the world of work for young people with disabilities. Employer membership includes as well as Hospitals and Governmental organisations, Banks and multinational companies. There are 19 years of significant outcomes/ evidence base/awards (80% average job outcomes before the recession).
Project Search as an agent of change:
- Cultural change – attitudes, expectations and aspirations
- Skills improvement – in management practice - re coaching team members
- Skills improvement – experienced long serving staff develop expand mentoring skills
- Seems to improve wellbeing and job satisfaction within the teams who host an intern
- Diversity - Contributes significantly and visibly both Corporately and on the ground
- Contributes to developing a diverse workforce better representing the local community we serve
- Helps us tap parts of the talent pool that we have the most difficulty accessing
- A tool for innovative workforce and career development
- Contributes to lean systems thinking at the coal face
Project SEARCH brief description
- One academic year programme
- 10 students with a desire to work
- Classroom and work rotations hosted by a large Employer
- Focus on graduating with a job