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The Big Issue: How people with learning disabilities are stepping up to help the NHS recruitment crisis

David Bridges, program manager of the Devon-based DFN Project Search site, recently spoke with The Big Issue about how the programme is “giving people the right support and helping them find the right opportunities” within the NHS. 

The interns of the Devon-based programme are usually aged between 18 and 24, and given two weeks of intense training to prepare them for roles with a specific employer, which in this case is the North Devon District Hospital and Royal Devon and Exeter Hospital.

As mentioned by Bridges “The breadth of jobs available in the NHS and the range of skills needed makes it a great place for the project and interns can try their hand at a range of roles, from jobbing in the post room or admissions department to working as a health assistant.”

DFN Project SEARCH is a national transition to work programme for students with learning disabilities and, or autism spectrum conditions, or both. They work in partnership across the public, private and voluntary sectors to create supported employment internships within private and public settings that these young people undertake during their last year of education, helping them to make positive transitions from education to the world of work.

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