Project ‘SEARCH’ Graduates Celebrate Success

Project SEARCH saw its first 9 young people with disabilities or additional support needs celebrate their success at their Graduation on Monday night. This marked the completion of the first year’s course at Dumfries and Galloway College.

Students have been applying for and getting interviews for positions in local businesses, with one of the students successfully gaining a job prior to graduation.

Councillor Smyth said: “As a Council we have made building the local economy our number one priority. One of the reasons is our determination to end the scourge of youth unemployment in our region and key to that is ensuring everyone has equal access to training and employment opportunities.  Project SEARCH is key to that aim, providing students with the extra support they need to enable them to look for employment in a competitive market.  All of the young people are to be congratulated for undertaking this training in order to improve their future employment opportunities. The work they have done and the commitment they have shown is truly inspirational and  I wish them well in their future careers.”

The interns, all aged between 16 -24, joined the year-long, full time vocational programme with the purpose of preparing for competitive employment.  This is a full time course that takes the classroom into the workplace, allowing young people to spend the year trying out 3 different work roles, supported by their tutor and job coaches.  It brings together education, training and work skills in a real life working environment.

The interns benefited from work experience which supported them in attaining increased independence, improved confidence and self-esteem.  They also participated in career exploration, work interviews and employment skills that increased their overall ability for job seeking and the likelihood of finding and sustaining a permanent job.

The project, which is a partnership between Dumfries and Galloway Council, Dumfries and Galloway College and Dumfries and Galloway Employability and Skills Service, allows each partner to bring their own expertise to aid the young person to achieve marketable and transferrable skills.  The young people work within real working situations, carrying out tasks within the council and private business.

Dumfries and Galloway Councillor and MSP Colin Smyth, who addressed the Graduation, congratulated all 9 interns for successfully completing the Dumfries and Galloway Employability Award, as well as achieving additional qualifications in Emergency First Aid, REHIS Food Hygiene, Manual Handling, Customer Services and Conflict Management.

Project SEARCH is now looking forward to starting its second year in Dumfries and Galloway in August.

The 9 interns photographed are:

Charlotte Carruthers

Thomas Cloy

Robyn Little

Matthew Lockwood

Jamie McCormick

Robert McGregor

Samuel Pattinson

Euan Scott

Mike Withnall


Tutors/Job coaches:

Bill Allcorn, Katie Murray and Ross McCreadie

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