Project Search provides young people with a learning disability and/or autism the opportunity to gain the skills needed in a real work environment and achieve paid employment.

Project Search finds young people aged 18-24, in their last year of education, whose talents may be overlooked in the job market, and matches their skills to roles within a business.

Kirklees Council has partnered with Kirklees College, REAL employment, C&K Careers, Job Centre Plus and Mid Yorkshire Hospitals to run our first Project Search programme based at Dewsbury District Hospital.

The process starts with young people, with the desire to work, completing an application form. These application forms are assessed by a team of people who choose approximately 15 young people to invite to an assessment day.

From the assessment day approximately 10 young people will be successfully recruited on to the programme. Any young people who are not successful will be informed of other available options.

The full time, onsite job coach and tutor will work with the successful young people over the summer to prepare them to start the programme in September. This will include travel training and team building exercises.

Throughout the year, young people on Project Search have three work site rotations (unless they find a job before the end of the programme!) to help them to build the skills required for the type of work that they are interested in. The tutor and job coach work with the young people every day to support them to learn employability skills and the tasks in their work sites, as well as job search for full time employment. At the end of the programme, if they haven't found a job, young people will receive continued support from REAL employment (learning disability) or Richmond Fellowship (autism) to find work.

We've got some fabulously talented young people that really shine when you put them into the right work environment!

With over 500 Project Search programmes worldwide and many more managers saying it's the best thing they have ever done, we know Project Search's ability to make a positive impact on a business. Project Search is hugely successful with 61% of the young people gaining paid employment of 16 hours or more.

For more information, contact: Sue Gibson at Kirklees College using sgibson@kirkleescollege.ac.uk or telephone 07775 793 641.