DFN Project SEARCH Renfrewshire is an employability programme designed specifically for young adults with a recognised learning disability and/or autism. Originating from the USA Project SEARCH has now expanded to over 600 sites across North America and Europe.
Project SEARCH is a college course delivered over one full college academic year.
The programme delivers vocational and job searching skills in addition to helping improve the levels of confidence and self-esteem of each participant. The ultimate aim is for participants to move into employment of at least 16 hours, but preferably 20 hours a week or more.
The local partners for Project SEARCH are Renfrewshire Council, Invest in Renfrewshire and Glasgow Clyde College.
Participants should be:
- Aged 17-29;
- Living in Renfrewshire;
- Unemployed; and
- Have a recognised learning disability and/or autism.
Participants will attend for 35 hours per week, Monday to Friday from 08:30 to 15:30, and their time will be split between classroom-based learning and on work placement.
Each student will have 3 work placements or ‘rotations’ during the academic year.
Work placements will vary from time to time, based on availability, and the aspirations of participants, however previous placements have included catering, recycling, administration and environmental opportunities.
Participants will receive mentoring from a college lecturer and a job coach will provide guidance and assistance throughout the placements.
Participants will also be supported with employability issues such as CV writing, interview techniques and job searching. They will work towards an SQA qualification.
If suitable employment has not been secured on completion of the programme participants will receive one year ‘follow up’ support to help them move into employment.