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Bradford internship project launches for young people with learning disabilities and autism

A NEW supported internship programme for young people with learning disabilities and autism has launched in Bradford.

Bradford District Care NHS Foundation Trust (BDCT); Hft, a learning disabilities charity; DFN Project SEARCH, Bradford College and Bradford Council have formed a partnership to give young people in the area with learning disabilities and autism vital work-based learning opportunities within the care trust, to help them to secure meaningful paid employment.

This will become the third DFN Project SEARCH programme in Bradford.

The DFN Project SEARCH programme includes eight to 12 interns, from Bradford, aged between 18 and 24.

They will learn competitive and transferable skills for a variety of roles at the Trust and will receive an employability curriculum each day to develop their work-based skills.

Therese Patten, CEO of Bradford District Care NHS Foundation Trust (BDCT) said: “We are so excited to welcome these fantastic young people to our Trust and our district, and to be supporting them to develop their skills and confidence.

“The number of young adults with learning disabilities in employment is shockingly low, and I am pleased that we will be able to make our own contribution to help address that.

“I am confident that some of our first 10 interns will find jobs with us and other local employers, and that collectively we will all benefit of this great local talent.”

Josh Wadsworth, Transformation and Compliance Coordinator at Bradford Council, added: “The Bradford district is committed to helping young people with SEND in the District develop the skills and experience, and achieve the qualifications they need, to succeed in their careers.

“It’s very important that the Bradford district has the correct level of opportunities to meet the aspirations of all young people whilst providing equal access to the workplace.

“We’re delighted to be involved with the development of this fantastic opportunity working with DFN Project SEARCH programme to help increase the number of options available and support people with learning disabilities and autism in our community.”