Posted: Sun 27th Aug 2023

Project SEARCH graduates celebrate success in Flintshire

News and Info from Deeside, Flintshire, North Wales
This article is old - Published: Sunday, Aug 27th, 2023

Flintshire County Council, in partnership with charity Hft and Betsi Cadwaladr University Health Board (BCUHB), recently celebrated the graduation of a group of Project SEARCH students who completed their internships in front of family and friends.

The scheme, which has been supported by the council since its launch in 2019, is a 12-month internship for young education leavers with learning disabilities or autism.

Over the past year, the programme in Flintshire has expanded to offer two distinct internships and became the first Project SEARCH scheme in the UK to offer a dedicated programme for adults over the age of 25, as well as under 25s.

Councillor Ian Roberts, Leader of Flintshire County Council, expressed his delight at being present at the graduation. He said, “It was a pleasure to hear of the experiences the young people have gained as part of the project.

I would like to thank all involved in the project and hope for good outcomes for all the students.”

Project SEARCH is an international internship programme that creates supported employment internships within a variety of workplace settings for individuals with learning disabilities and/or autism.

The programme utilises partnership working across the public, private and voluntary sectors, assisting interns to make a positive transition to the paid employment environment.

Councillor Christine Jones, Flintshire County Council’s Cabinet Member for Social Services, commended the project for highlighting the skills and talents of local young people.

She said, “Project SEARCH really highlights the skills and talent of our local, young people. In Flintshire, we are committed to ensuring everyone has the opportunity to work, earn a wage, develop their skills and be part of the community.

Well done to all graduates, and we wish them the best of luck in their future endeavours.”

Previous interns from Project SEARCH in Flintshire have successfully gained roles in local businesses, as well as the council, and some of the interns graduating this year have already secured employment.

Follow-on support is provided by employability coaches to assist graduates with their search for paid employment.

The event marked a significant achievement for the graduates and the programme itself, which has made strides in supporting young adults with learning disabilities or autism in their journey towards employment and self-reliance.

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