Local business leaders sought to advise Project SEARCH

Bradford Project SEARCH, which is now in its sixth year, is an award-winning partnership between Bradford Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, Bradford’s Southfield Special School, Hft – a national charity which supports people with learning disabilities, and Bradford Council.

The scheme aims to bridge the gap between school and employment for these young people and equip them with real-life skills that can help them secure permanent employment after they have graduated.

It increases the employment potential for people with learning disabilities from a national average of less than 6%. Since Bradford Project SEARCH started, 42 of our interns have graduated and of these, 33 have got jobs – a success rate of 79%.

A Business Advisory Committee (BAC), made up of local business leaders, plays a key role in supporting the scheme. Chaired by the Trust’s chief executive, it meets for two hours, five times a year, to:

  • advise Project SEARCH on skill shortages and hard to fill entry level jobs
  • advise Project SEARCH team on programme development
  • be an outside business link for an intern on the programme
  • provide interview experience for interns
  • provide outside business mentors for interns.

Some employers may also offer rotations for an intern.

The BAC membership is currently being refreshed and interested local businesses are invited to join the Project SEARCH team at its next meeting on Friday 22 March, Conference Room, Field House, Bradford Royal Infirmary, from 8am to 10am.

There you can meet current members of the BAC and other people who want to help improve the employment opportunities for young people with learning disabilities, who find it harder than most to secure a job.

You will have a chance to meet other businesses, find out more about this work and hear from a successful young person and their employer.

The Project SEARCH team will also have an opportunity to explain a bit more about the aims of the network and what it is collectively trying to achieve.

For further information please contact Lorraine Cameron, Bradford Project SEARCH Business Liaison on telephone: 01274 272428 or via email at: Lorraine.cameron@bthft.nhs.uk

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