Employment programme for people with learning disabilities and autism wins awards

Employment programme for people with learning disabilities and autism wins awards

The University of Aberdeen's programme to support young people with a learning disability and autism or both into employment has been recognised with a national award.

The DFN Project SEARCH University of Aberdeen’s success rate was in the top 10% of all 120 sites across the UK, Ireland and Iberia.

The team received two Outcome Awards at the programme’s annual conference in Rotherham.

The Outcome Awards showcase the programme’s success in securing jobs for more than 70% of Interns who graduated in June 2021 and who are now in work in a variety of organisations across the north-east of Scotland. 

The team are also celebrating successful outcomes for several Interns who completed the programme in June 2022 and have already started their careers in a diverse range of roles including Apprentice Groundskeeper, Café Assistant and Customer Service Assistant.

Claire Cookson, Chief Executive Officer of the DFN Foundation/Project SEARCH, said: “At DFN Project SEARCH we believe all deserving young adults should have the opportunity to access a high-quality supported internship, and so I want to congratulate the University of Aberdeen for their remarkable work and success in supporting young adults with a learning disability into employment.”

The DFN Project SEARCH University of Aberdeen site launched in September 2013 and is hosted by the University on its King’s College campus.

The site offers a one-year Internship programme to up to 12 young people aged 16-24 every year who are supported to undertake 3 work placements within the University and our partner organisations (covering a range of roles including administration, grounds maintenance, portering, IT/media services, childcare, catering and retail experience) whilst studying towards the City & Guilds Certificate in Employability Skills.  Upon graduation, the Interns receive support to enter paid employment.