Project Search - Overview
What is Project Search? Take a look at the opportunities available and meet past students and the staff that make it all possible.
Project SEARCH is an employment focused education programme which aims to give our students the opportunity to develop employability skills and get hands on experience in the workplace.
Background to the Project
In 1990 a programme employing individuals with disabilities in hospitals and clinics within the Cincinnati metropolitan area in Ohio, USA was introduced. The programme was run in partnership with local education providers and resulted in permanent employment being achieved for over 70 individuals with disabilities. The project has since been replicated across 9 states in the USA and has now spread to Europe. There are now over 300 Project SEARCH sites worldwide, and Newfriars College is to be the first in Staffordshire.
Project SEARCH is a targeted programme of employment training and support for young people with learning disabilities. The model runs over an academic year and students work in three placements between September and June. They start and finish each day in their Project SEARCH classroom on site where they discuss what they have been doing that day, participate in skills training and carry out supported job searches with the support of their Job Coach.
By working in a number of placements over the course of the year, students are able to demonstrate skills and experience they can use when looking for paid work. Students are supported by their Job Coaches in either finding similar work on site with the host employer or with other employers.
Newfriars Project Search
In 2018, Newfriars College, in partnership with the UHNM Trust and Sodexo launched the first Project SEARCH site in Staffordshire, based at the Royal Stoke Hospital, with strong links both here, and at the UHMM sister site, at County Hospital in Stafford. Interns complete three separate work placements (usually one per term) in areas such as catering, portering, administration, customer service, gardening and ward support.
Students are supported by two full time members of staff, who are on hand to job coach and prepare students for adulthood and independent living. Students follow a ‘Preparation for Adulthood’ curriculum, focusing on the key areas of:
- Independent Living
- Community Inclusion
- Healthy Living