A PROJECT offers young people with disabilities a life-changing opportunity by providing them with hands-on work experience.
This initiative was established by Furness College and DFN Project SEARCH to help young people with learning disabilities and autism spectrum conditions, aged 18-24, with education and health plans obtain full-time paid employment. increase.
According to project search coordinator Leanne Hirst, the program currently has eight interns who enjoy working in different roles and departments at Furness General Hospital.
“Interns come from a variety of backgrounds. Some have studied on the Channelside campus, some have studied at Barrow Sixth Form, some have studied outside the company. I applied for a one-year supported internship at
The project coordinator said the program was “amazing”.
But she said only an estimated 5.9% of people with learning disabilities have paid jobs.
“DFN’s evidence-based model helps young people with disabilities reach their full potential, while also challenging misconceptions and changing society’s perception of young people with learning disabilities and autism,” she said. said.
“It is important that people with disabilities have the same access and opportunities to employment because having a job is not just about earning an income, it can build self-confidence, develop skills and broaden friendships. .”
One of the interns, Bailey Harding, is currently working in the hospital’s catering department.
he said: “I have spent 5 years in education and I feel like I am on a merry-go-round, but this program gave me a way out of education.I can now see a bright and positive future. Yes, you have the skills, knowledge and experience to move into adulthood independently.
“Both my teacher and job coach are very kind, friendly and supportive of me. I am grateful for the opportunities this program has given me.”
Cavan Armstrong, an intern who worked in the hospital pharmacy, said, “My confidence has grown tremendously since September and I have a better understanding of the workplace.
On February 16th, DFN Project Search interns will gather at the Channelside campus to showcase the skills they bring to local businesses.
Employers are invited to meet the “hidden workforce of the future” at Furness College’s Reverse Jobs Fair.