The solution to many problems faced by young people with a learning disability, autism spectrum condition, or both is straightforward: competitive employment.
The DFN Project SEARCH programme provides real work experience combined with training in employability and independent living skills delivered in a business setting to help young people make successful transitions to productive adult life.
It is a partnership between a host business, education provider, and professional adult supported employment provider. The goal is to provide full-time paid work for our interns in an integrated setting.
DFN Project SEARCH programme
✓ Full-time supported internship at a host business
✓ 800 hours of marketable skills acquisition
✓ Three 10-week rotations across the host business whist also studying for an employability qualification
✓ A focused employability curriculum delivered from the workplace
✓ Opportunities to learn with prestigious employer partners
✓ Combination of tutors and trained job coach support
Unlike other employment programmes in the UK, we only consider an employment outcome successful if it meets the following criteria: at least 16 hours per week, paid at the prevailing rate for the job, non-seasonal, and in an integrated work setting. Work of at least 16 hours per week, paid at the National Living Wage is necessary for financial independence. Non-seasonal work is important because young adults with a learning disability need sustainable jobs and an integrated setting provides the best opportunities for career progression.
Our Interns – Are you eligible?
DFN Project SEARCH serves young people with a learning disability or autism spectrum conditions, or both.
Typically, these are young people eligible to take school or college places. However, the most important criteria is a desire to achieve full time employment.
Learners with an EHCP or equivalent remain on roll at their school or college but are based full-time with a host business’ to ‘learners who meet the local admission criteria remain on roll at their school or college but are based full time with a host business.
Throughout the programme year, interns work on employability and functional skills. Training room activities are designed around: Team Building, Workplace Safety, Technology, Maintaining Employment, Self-Advocacy, Financial Literacy, Health and Wellness, and Preparing for Employment.