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Mayor of South Ribble welcomes talented young interns to life-changing transition to employment programme

DFN Project Search Interns

A new life-changing transition to employment programme for young people with learning disabilities and autism has just launched in South Ribble.

The Council, Progress Housing Group, Hft and DFN Project SEARCH have partnered to give young people in the area with learning disabilities and autism vital work experience to help them to secure meaningful employment. 

To celebrate the launch, an event was held for the new interns, their families, and programme partners on September 27th at the Civic Centre to welcome the first cohort of interns to the new programme.

The DFN Project SEARCH programme includes 10 interns, all from South Ribble, aged between 19 and 21. The individuals will be working across various roles at the Progress Housing Group, which include Administration, Customer Engagement and Stock Control.

The Mayor of South Ribble, Councillor Jane Bell, attended the DFN Project SEARCH official launch event to present the 10 new interns with their programme passes and welcome them to the transition to employment programme.

The new DFN Project SEARCH programme is delivered in partnership with South Ribble Borough Council, Progress Housing Group as the host business, and Hft as the education provider. 

DFN Project SEARCH is a transition to work programme for students with learning disabilities and autism with ambitions to get 10,000 young adults with learning difficulties and autism into full-time paid jobs over the next decade.

The pioneering programme is total workplace immersion at its very best, facilitating a seamless combination of classroom instruction, career exploration, and hands-on skills training.

Over 1480 young people with learning disabilities and autism have now graduated and secured full-time paid employment through DFN Project SEARCH programmes in the UK. 

Mayor of South Ribble, Cllr Jane Bell, said: "We're very honoured to welcome these young people to South Ribble's Civic Centre to embark on their careers.

"It's very important that everyone should be able to have equal opportunities when it comes to the workplace and I'm thrilled that South Ribble Borough Council can work with the DFN Project Search programme to help support people with learning difficulties and autism in our community.  I have a granddaughter who is autistic and know from personal experience how she finds some situations very difficult to cope with and this endeavour is so positive. 

"I wish all of our interns the very best of luck on their programme and I look forward to seeing their careers flourish." 

DFN Project SEARCH works to build a more inclusive society by helping to create much improved career opportunities for those with learning disabilities and autism through 70 supported internships schemes across the UK, and the charity is succeeding even in the midst of the Covid-19 pandemic. 

Latest data from DFN Project SEARCH shows that in the past 12 months, 141 interns secured full-time well-paid work. DFN Project SEARCH interns secured these roles when the country was in lockdown with many of the roles classified as key workers.

Learn more about DFN Project SEARCH

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