From education to employment

DFN Project SEARCH interns launch Youth Advisory Group to encourage inclusivity from UK employers

DFN Project SEARCH, a leading transition to employment programme for young adults with a learning disability, has launched a Youth Advisory Group to help encourage more inclusive employment.

A group of DFN Project SEARCH interns have come together to create the Youth Advisory Group with the aim of educating employers across UK businesses to develop more inclusive employment practices.

The Youth Advisory Group is made up of twelve members who are existing interns on DFN Project SEARCH programmes from across the country.

The Youth Advisory Group provides a much needed voice for young adults with a learning disability,  autism spectrum condition, or both, helping to share insights from their own perspectives on how business can be doing more to improve inclusive business practices to help more young adults with learning disabilities get into employment. 

Jonathan Leech, Youth Advisory Group member, said “The Youth Advisory Group gives us a voice and chance to help employers better understand what people with a learning disability need when it comes to the workplace and trying to find jobs.”

“I think the Youth Advisory Group is important as it will help businesses understand how to make society more accessible for everyone”, said Nina Stakis Youth Advisory Group member. 

The Youth Advisory Group meets the third Wednesday of every month alongside DFN Project SEARCH employees to discuss inclusive recruitment and methods to make this more accessible for everyone.  

DFN Project SEARCH is a transition to work programme for students with a learning disability with ambitions to get 10,000 young adults with learning disabilities and autism into full-time paid jobs over the next decade.

The pioneering programme involves total workplace immersion at its very best, facilitating a seamless combination of classroom instruction, career exploration, and hands-on skills training.

Over 1600 young adults have now graduated with over 1,475 interns securing full-time paid employment through DFN Project SEARCH programmes in the UK. Typically, 70 per cent of interns secure employment against the national average of just 5.1 per cent.

DFN Project SEARCH CEO Claire Cookson said: “We are very excited to have our talented interns unite together and bring insight to employers on how businesses can make adjustments to become more inclusive.

“When given the right support, interns can truly thrive and make a huge contribution to society. Our mission is to build a more inclusive workplace by helping to create much improved career opportunities for young adults with a learning disability.”

Related Articles