Project SEARCH group photo outside TIC.

Inside StrathclydeStrathclyde welcomes new Project SEARCH interns

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:

Dougal Fraser

"I would like to gain experience, improve my confidence and find a job that I like."

First placement: Electrician's Assistant, Estates Services 

James Slaven headshot.

James Slaven

"I would like to get the experience and training needed to pursue what I want or need to."

First placement: Joiner's Assistant, Estates Services

Project SEARCH 2020 intake. Megan, TIC, 26 August 2019

Megan Donaldson

"Hopefully I can expand my skills to help me get a job."

First placement: Admin Assistant, Business Support Team

Project SEARCH Stephen 2020 intake, TIC, 26 August 2019

Stephen McGunnigle

"I hope that Project SEARCH will help me cope with how to handle myself in the workplace and help me get a job."

First placement: Admin Assistant, Widening Access Team


Project SEARCH Corey 2020 intake, TIC, 26 August 2019

Corey Clark

"Mainly I want to get something for the future, to help me get on the right path to find a job."

First placement: Café Assistant, Urban Bean

Project Search Jordan, 2020 intake

Jordan Rigmand

"I'd like to use the opportunity to get experience to get a job."

First placement: Handyperson, Estates Services

Project SEARCH Craig 2020 intake, TIC, 26 August 2019

Craig Lockhart

"I want to try and get me somewhere in life. I would like a job where I feel I belong."

First placement: Kitchen Assistant, Lord Todd 

Project SEARCH Jack 2020 intake, TIC, 26 August 2019

Jack Bulloch

"At the end of it (or during it) I will hopefully get a job and if not, I will have gained new skills from different work placements."

First placement: Domestic, Glasgow Caledonian University

Project SEARCH, Giulia, TIC, 26 August 2019

Giulia Rinaldi

"I'd like to find a job to give me a purpose in life."

First placement: Domestic, City of Glasgow College

ProjectSEARCH Aaron, TIC, 26 August 2019

Aaron Machon

"Project SEARCH was actually recommended and I was pals with someone who had done it before and said it was quite good."

First placement: Groundskeeping, Glasgow Caledonian University

Project SEARCH Gary 2020 intake. TIC

Gary Graham

"I want a job in hospitality."

First placement: Customer Service Assistant, Conferencing & Events, Technology and Innovation Centre