A Strathclyde programme providing opportunities for young people on the autistic spectrum, or with learning disabilities, has welcomed its latest cohort of interns.
Project SEARCH, a one-year transition programme which provides employability training and education, has seen two-thirds of its participants entering paid work in the five years since it began.
The 11 interns will take part in three 10-week placements over a full academic year to help them gain experience for work. Supported by a qualified instructor and job coaches to meet their educational and training needs, they will complete a minimum of 20 hours per week in their placements.
The first few weeks will focus on intern induction, hands-on skill assessment, and getting to know the working environment, and throughout the year, the interns will work on employability and functional skills for about two hours of their day.
In their placements, interns are paired with a volunteer mentor, or ‘buddy’, who helps them settle in and supports them day-to-day by allocating work and helping them to develop their skills for employment.
Departments across the University have provided placements, with positions ranging from IT support and lab assistant, to front-of-desk at Strathclyde’s flagship Technology and Innovation Centre. This year we’re delighted to announce two new placements; in TIC Conferencing and Events and Business Support (Information Services).
Meet our new Project SEARCH interns
Project SEARCH offers Strathclyde access to a new and diverse talent stream, with skills matching specific workplace needs. The visibility of the interns across campus, and their regular interactions with staff, help to foster a more inclusive and disability-friendly culture, and each year has seen more placements and buddies join the programme.
This year’s interns began their placements earlier this month. Please look out for them around campus and say hello if you get the opportunity to meet in person.
Below, each of the interns introduce themselves and tell us what they are hoping to get out of the programme over the next year: