16 / 6 / 2015 8.10am
Partnership with Royal Berkshire Foundation Trust, Project SEARCH, Reading College, Brooksfields School and Ways into Work
'Each individual competes three, ten to twelve week rotations where they can be placed in different roles to discover which roles they are best suited for.'
Project SEARCH has partnered with Royal Berkshire Foundation Trust (RBFT), Brookfields School, Reading College and Ways into Work to offer a supported internship programme for people with learning disabilities. Each individual completes three, ten week rotations where they can be placed in different teams to discover which roles they are best suited for.
Students attend a one year course, where they are taught to do real jobs. To access the course students have to be enrolled at Brookfields School or Reading College and attend a selection day. Through the programme, 14 young people with learning disabilities gained meaningful paid employment in a two year period.
Our outcomes have shown our graduates to have very low sick rates, excellent time keeping and high accuracy in their work. The majority of students tend to carry out their work as they were taught and don’t deviate from task, and, therefore, drive high standards around important areas such as infection control.
We have seen a culture change within RBFT. Project SEARCH has been very successful and we have a high demand for students within various departments across all care groups and corporate areas. RBFT has also seen a higher retention in areas with historically high turnover. Furthermore, organisation engagement has increased awareness of learning disabilities.
Some of our students and their families never thought that meaningful employment was an achievable aspiration. They are now in permanent jobs and making a positive contribution.
How we did it
- Project SEARCH has partnered with Royal Berkshire Foundation Trust, Brookfields School, Reading College and Ways into Work.
- Project SEARCH offers internships for an academic year to young people with a learning disability with a large local employer. The supported internship programme consists of three, ten to twelve week internships in different departments with RBFT.
- To access the course students have to be on roll at Brookfields School or Reading College and attend a selection day.
- Some working times adaptions are made to the interview process, such as allowing candidates to see the questions tenminutes prior to interview.
- The students go through an adapted induction programme at the beginning of the course to ensure they understand their new role.
- Mandatory training updated in smaller groups with trainers who have undertaken disability training to ensure their training is accessible.