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Project SEARCH interns celebrate success

A GROUP of Project SEARCH students have celebrated completing their internships at a graduation ceremony in front of family and friends.

The scheme is a 12-month internship for young education leavers with learning disabilities or autism.

Flintshire County Council has proudly supported the project since its launch in 2019 in partnership with charity Hft, and more recently Betsi Cadwaladr University Health Board (BCUHB).

The programme in Flintshire has expanded over the last 12 months to offer two distinct internships, and became the first Project SEARCH scheme in the UK to offer a dedicated programme for adults over the age of 25, as well as under 25s.

Leader of Flintshire County Council, Councillor Ian Roberts, said: “It was a pleasure to be present at the graduation and to hear of the experiences the young people have gained as part of the project.  I would like to thank all involved in the project and hope for good outcomes for all the students.”

Project SEARCH is an international internship programme for individuals with learning disabilities and/or autism. The programme utilises partnership working across the public, private and voluntary sectors to create supported employment internships within a variety of workplace settings. The skills and experience interns gain while participating in the programme assists them to make a positive transition to the paid employment environment.

Flintshire County Council’s Cabinet Member for Social Services, Councillor Christine Jones, said: “Project SEARCH really highlights the skills and talent of our local, young people. In Flintshire we are committed to ensuring everyone has the opportunity to work, earn a wage, develop their skills and be part of the community. 

“Well done to all graduates and we wish them the best of luck in their future endeavours.”

Previous interns from Project SEARCH in Flintshire have gone on to successfully gain roles in local businesses, as well as the council, and some of the interns graduating this year have already secured employment. Follow-on support is provided by employability coaches to assist graduates with their search for paid employment.