Interns and staff from across the Group recently came together to officially launch the new term with a celebratory event at Burnley College. The event also provided the ideal opportunity for our Project SEARCH interns to show off their achievements and make connections with local employers. We were also officially presented with the 100% Employment Outcome Award after supporting each intern from the previous term into employment.
We deliver DFN Project SEARCH in partnership with Burnley College and Lancashire County Council and currently support interns through a work placement within the wider Group.
DFN Project SEARCH provides supported internships and employment training opportunities for people aged 18-24 living with learning difficulties and/or autism spectrum conditions. Through supported internships, we help individuals gain the skills needed to maximise their potential so they may find paid employment in the future. Our committment is to raise the national average employment rate for those living with learning difficulties and autism, which recently fell to just 5.1% between 2020-2021*.
As well as celebrating, we were also keen to raise awareness of Project SEARCH among local business leaders. We want to increase the number of placements we can offer interns in key sectors such as hospitality and retail. The event was a great opportunity for our interns to showcase their skills in the hopes that more businesses will engage with the programme and accommodate work placements. Our interns were incredible, turning their hands at networking and getting several businesses including Pendleside Hospice, Positive Footprints and Motorpoint onboard.
Guest speakers at the event included representatives from DFN Project SEARCH, Burnley College and Lancashire County Council.
DFN Project SEARCH has ambitions to get 10,000 young adults with learning difficulties and autism into full-time paid jobs over the next decade and 20,000 in the next 15 years.