Project SEARCH logo

Area of Delivery: Plymouth and Barnstaple

Project SEARCH offers 12 month internships for young people with a learning disability with a large local employer, made up by three 10 week internships in different departments over an academic year.

The aim of Project SEARCH is to give young people with learning disabilities the skills to gain competitive paid employment.

It adopts the supported employment model which argues that learning how to do a job well within the workplace (as opposed to in a classroom) is the most effective way for people with a learning disability to achieve paid work.

The Project SEARCH model was first developed in Cincinnati Childrens Hospital to support people with learning disabilities into work. Project SEARCH now runs in over 200 organisations throughout the world.

It aims to help remove the significant barriers faced by people with learning disabilities looking for employment. In the UK, for example, only 7% of people with learning disabilities nationally are in any form of paid work, compared with 73% of the wider population.

The end goal for each student is to achieve competitive employment either with the host employer or elsewhere in the community using the skills they have acquired.

Our Project SEARCH sites have a combined job outcome rate of over 70%.

Our Plymouth Project SEARCH site is run in partnership with Pluss, Plymouth Hospitals NHS Trust, City College Plymouth and Serco. It is funded by Pluss and Plymouth City Council.

Our Barnstaple Project SEARCH site is run in partnership with Pluss, Northern Devon Healthcare NHS Trust and Petroc. It is funded by Pluss, the NHS, Petroc and Devon County Council.

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