County health bosses hail workplace intern project - The Evesham Observer

County health bosses hail workplace intern project

Evesham Editorial 6th Feb, 2024   0

COUNTY health chiefs have unveiled a new partnership to transform the lives of young adults with special educational needs and disabilities.

It allows 16 to 24-year-old students who hold an Education Health and Care Plan (EHCP) to gain work experience.

Worcestershire Acute Hospitals NHS Trust with Worcestershire Children First, Worcestershire County Council, and Hft, the learning disability charity and supported employment provider will champion DFN Project SEARCH.

The scheme is a national transition-to-work programme for students with a learning disability and/or autism spectrum conditions.

Libby Marshall, Apprenticeship and Widening Participation Lead at Worcestershire Acute Hospitals NHS Trust, said:

“This is a fantastic collaboration and one which is supported nationally by NHS England.

“We are proud to be the first employer championing Project SEARCH in Worcestershire and it will help us promote the trust as a diverse and inclusive workplace.”

Throughout the first semester, interns like Jack Cook, Ethan Kenny, Michaela Goodger, and Josh Hines have made significant contributions. They have worked in departments such as catering, operations, and pathology at Worcestershire Royal Hospital.

Sarah Price, pre-analytics manager in the Pathology Department, praised Josh for his commitment and attention to detail.

She added:

“The team has been very supportive of Josh, and he has fitted in brilliantly.”

Hft Employability Coach, Claire Moseley, extended her gratitude to the hospital Trust’s teams and said.

“Their incredible support from the beginning is greatly appreciated and has helped enormously in settling our students in to their placements, particularly in such a busy work environment as the hospital.”

All of the interns, are looking forward to further working with the teams and the continued development of their skills.

More than 70 per cent of young people graduating from DFN Project SEARCH programmes find paid employment.

Should they succeed they will defying the national employment figures of only 4.8 per cent of people with a learning disability or autism spectrum condition in England are in full-time paid employment.

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