Somerset

Yeovil job finding project to expand

Project Search, Yeovil College Image copyright Yeovil college
Image caption The interns have been based at Yeovil District Hospital working in different departments to learn new skills

Talks are under way to expand a project that helps people with learning disabilities find work.

Students at Yeovil College have taken internships at the town's district hospital since last year.

Somerset County Council has been paying the cost of the project and wants to expand it because of the success of placing people in jobs.

Cabinet member William Wallace said: "Each project costs £25,000 which is a more than worthwhile investment."

Project Search was developed in the States for young people with learning disabilities.

Although no qualifications are needed, interns need to be able to work independently and have the social skills necessary for a working environment.

In Yeovil, students take part in three 10-week long placements in three different hospital departments over the course of the year.

They also get support from the college during the year-long internship to develop their work skills.

Curriculum area manager in Preparation for Life and Work at Yeovil College Shaun France said: "Quite often there are a number of roles that you don't think exist within in a big organisation and it's just about job-matching the individual and their skills."

Interns have carried out a number of roles, including managing stock inventories, grounds maintenance, preparing refreshments for patients and making tracheotomy collars.

Out of the eight who took part last year, five have now found jobs. The rest are getting further support from the council's jobs agency, Aspire.

The council hopes to expand the project to Taunton.

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