Forth Valley Royal Hospital-based project to help youths with learning disabilities into work

Minister for Business, Fair Work and Skills Jamie Hepburn (front) helped to launch the project with participants
Minister for Business, Fair Work and Skills Jamie Hepburn (front) helped to launch the project with participants

A hospital-based employability programme designed to help 18 to 24-year-olds with learning disabilities find work has been launched in Falkirk district.

Run on a yearly basis from September until June, Project SEARCH will grant 11 young people access to workplace learning and support in a variety of jobs across Forth Valley Royal Hospital in Larbert.

College lecturers and 
supervisors will assist the 
interns throughout the on-site initiative to develop an understanding of real job skills, using a rotating work experience programme to prepare the students. Trained coaches will guide the participants on job searches throughout the academic year.

Projest SEARCH was drawn up by Falkirk Council to build on a Scottish Government aim to halve the employment gap for disabled people by 2021. The local authority is running the initiative with NHS Forth Valley, Serco and Forth Valley College.

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Councillor Cecil Meiklejohn, Falkirk Council leader, said: “Project SEARCH recognises our collective commitment to improving the outcomes for our local young people, particularly those who find it most difficult to source suitable and sustainable employment. It will be delivered as a business-as-usual approach, ensuring individuals are treated with dignity and respect. We will make certain interventions are personalised to meet 
individual needs and circumstances with the main aim being to deliver a positive outcome for those involved.”