Project SEARCH UHNM
Project SEARCH is an employment focused education programme which aims to give young people with disabilities the opportunity to develop employability skills and get ‘hands on’ experience in the workplace.
Newfriars College in Partnership with UHNM.
Since 2018, UHNM, along with Sodexo UK, have been in partnership with Newfriars College, to provide Supported Internships for young people with Special Educational Needs and Disabilities.
‘Project SEARCH UHNM’ has been running for almost five years as a highly successful partnership, with our two host businesses (UHNM and Sodexo), working alongside Newfriars College (Education Provider and License Holder) to work towards
‘competitive paid employment for young people with additional needs.'
How does it work?
Project SEARCH UHNM is open to any young person aged 18-24 with an Education, Health and Care Plan (E.H.C.P). Prospective students are identified by local education providers, or can apply independently.
Applicants undergo an interview and assessment day, with representatives from all three partners, and if successful, join the programme as Newfriars College students from September to the following July.
UHNM provide a classroom base and staff facilities in the D-Block Training Room, where students are based Monday to Friday, with their Teacher and Job Coach. Students spend 45 minutes each morning studying-
· Functional English– Reading, Writing and Speaking & Listening ( to support with job applications and interviews),
· Preparation for Adulthood– this includes four key areas essential for young adults with Special Educational Needs and Disabilities; Employability Skills, Independent Living Skills, Healthy Lifestyles, and Community Inclusion/Social Interaction.
After completing their initial UHNM and departmental inductions, students spend from 10am– 3pm in their supported internship placements, with their ‘buddies’ from UHNM and Sodexo; these are staff who have been specially selected to help students learn the job roles, and model expected work behaviour.
Interns and buddies are supported by Newfriars Staff throughout the week.
Students work in non-clinical support roles, such as portering, retail, catering, domestics, gardening, ward assisting, administration and transport services.
Interns return to the classroom base each day from 3pm-3.30pm, for a de-brief, where they can reflect on their day and discuss their progress, or any concerns they may have.
Interns complete three different work placements over the academic year (one per term), and are greatly supported by their teams and supervisors onsite.
The Partnership has twice been nominated as Non-Clinical Team of the Year for the University Hospitals North Midlands Trust and has made it to the finals each time.