Programme helps adults with learning difficulties transition to employment

DFN Project SEARCH will launch a transition to employment programme available for adults over 25 with learning disabilities and/or autism.

The programme aims to help people gain competitive, marketable skills to enter into paid work.

The project, which will take place in Flintshire, involves total workplace immersion, facilitating a seamless combination of classroom instruction, career exploration and hands-on skills training and is being run in partnership with national learning disability charity Hft, ClwydAlyn and Flintshire County Council.

DFN Project SEARCH is a business-led, one-year transition to employment programme for young people with a learning disability and autism or both.

Kicking off in September, the programme includes team building, workplace safety, presentation skills, jobseeking skills, money management and employer specific skills. The internships will be hosted in a variety of different job sectors including catering, administration, reception work, maintenance, construction and painting/decorating, organisers said.

“Nationally only 5.1% of people with these needs are in paid employment, yet 70% of those supported by DFN Project SEARCH secure paid roles,” the organisation said in a statement. “DFN Project SEARCH’s evidence-based model challenges misconceptions and changes the way society views and enables young adults with learning disabilities and autism to ensure that they reach their true and full potential.”

DFN Project SEARCH works to build a more inclusive society by helping to create improved career opportunities for those with learning disabilities and autism. Evidence shows that being in employment improves health and wellbeing and is central to individual identity, social roles and social status. It is widely recognised that people in work tend to enjoy happier and healthier lives than those who are not in work.

Transitioning people from education straight into competitive employment also saves money for health and social care by creating opportunities for people with learning disabilities to become net contributors rather than recipients of adult social care and health services.

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