On Friday 15 September, in a graduation ceremony at Kirklees College’s Huddersfield Centre, 10 of this year’s Project SEARCH interns got to celebrate completing the programme.
Project SEARCH is a bespoke internship programme for students with learning disabilities aged 18-24 in their last year of education. The supported internships are provided by a host business, which for these students was Kirklees Council, and the programme seeks to not only support young people through their internship, but to also support them in securing a job, building confidence and gaining independence.
The Mayor for Kirklees, Cahal Burke, was present at the ceremony, alongside Alys Tregear, Head of Faculty for Student Support and Inclusion, Julia Farrar, Curriculum Area Manager for Foundation Learning and the tutors, families and friends of the graduates.
Speaking about the day, Julia Farrar commented:
“The graduation ceremony was a really wonderful opportunity to celebrate these incredible young people, who have overcome and achieved so much. Their determination and dedication to Project SEARCH and their future was truly both inspiring and empowering. I am so proud of them all for their hard work over the last year and excited to see where they go next.”
Seven of the interns who graduated are already in either part-time and full-time employment, working across a range of industries. This cohort have found employment with Kirklees College, Nandos, Kirklees Council, Sunflower Charity and Colour Box. They will continue to be supported by REAL Employment for the rest of their working lives.
The college has just welcomed this year’s current cohort of 10 new interns all eager to start their Project SEARCH journey.