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DFN Project Search in North East Lincolnshire

The NE Lincs 2023 Project Search report is out!

It concludes that this year’s Project Search which supports internships for young people with learning disabilities and/or Autism has been a great success!

The Project Search Programme for 2023 has been in conjunction with Diana Princess of Wales Hospital, Linkage College Grimsby, Care Plus and North East Lincolnshire Local Authority.

The 2023 First Year Review Report says:

This is an ambitious team with high levels of aspiration for the interns they serve. The interns felt totally supported but also stretched to be the best they can be.

The host business is truly committed to the programme, and they believe in the interns as potential employees either within the Hospital or outside of it. The hospital staff and especially those in the facilities team have provided a very welcoming and positive learning environment for the young people on the programme and the onsite team.

The commitment of Linkage College and their staff has been excellent.

The council team as the license holder have been actively involved in supporting the partners to bring this programme to fruition.

What is Project Search?

DFN Project SEARCH serves young people with a learning disability or autism spectrum conditions, or both.

Typically, these are young people eligible to take school or college places. However, the most important criteria is a desire to achieve full time employment.

Learners with an EHCP or equivalent remain on roll at their school or college but are based full-time with a host business where they have daily support and contact with an employability coach and a tutor.

Throughout the programme year, interns work on employability and functional skills. Training room activities are designed around: Team Building, Workplace Safety, Technology, Maintaining Employment, Self-Advocacy, Financial Literacy, Health and Wellness, and Preparing for Employment.

Who’s idea was it?

The DFN Foundation was established by city financier David Forbes-Nixon who has a son with a learning disability. He became aware of the lack of effective provision to meet his son’s needs and that of other young people like him and was determined to try and make a positive difference.

What does the DFN Project Search offer?

✓ Full-time supported internship at a host business

✓ 800 hours of marketable skills acquisition

✓ Three 10-week rotations across the host business whist also studying for an employability qualification

✓ A focused employability curriculum delivered from the workplace

✓ Opportunities to learn with prestigious employer partners

✓ Combination of tutors and trained job coach support

What’s happening with Project Search in NE Lincs?

An assessment open day has recently been held for next year’s 2023/24 interns at Linkage Collage. The day was a great success with young people from all across Post 16 settings in NE Lincs and surrounding areas. Prospective interns completed a variety of assessment tasks including filing, relaying messages, computer information and sorting. This was followed by a short interview with members of staff from Diana Princess of Wales hospital.

For 2024/25 NE Lincs are working with local partners and educational settings to expand the opportunities for internships and involve a greater variety of businesses and placements.

If you would like to know more about project search why not contact and take a look at SEND Local offer Preparing for adulthood page.