Oliver's story: What it's like being an intern at Progress Housing Group

Oliver is one of ten Project SEARCH interns who started working at Progress Housing Group in October. Oliver is currently working in our HR & OD Team and has written a short blog about his experience of working at Progress Housing Group so far.

Hello, my name is Oliver. I am currently undertaking a Supported Internship with Project SEARCH and Progress Housing Group. I am in the middle of a rotation with the HR department.

My own experience with Progress Housing Group has been a pleasant one up to now. Everyone has been very supportive of me thus far; they have accommodated any additional support I required. For instance, they managed to break down instructions for each individual task into simple, straightforward steps.

The tasks themselves have all been quite engaging up to this point. I have managed to complete each one with the instructions provided quite easily; they were also done to a good standard and completed quickly. Again, this may have partially been due to how helpful the manner in which the instructions were laid out was.

So far, there hasn't been anything about the experience that I particularly disliked. As I've already mentioned, the tasks were engaging, and I found them very interesting. I've enjoyed completing each individual task.

During my time here, I have improved my data management skills since most of the tasks I have worked on revolved around re-arranging files while using a spreadsheet as a reference. This experience has allowed me to perform a task I could have possibly had trouble with in the past.

This experience has improved my adaptability, allowing me to grow more used to the work environment as opposed to the school or college setting that I had already grown accustomed to.

I've also managed to interview five of my Project SEARCH colleagues, asking them about their own experience as interns with Progress Housing Group.

I also managed to interview five of my colleagues, asking them about their own experience with Progress Housing Group. Each one of them was in their own placement while I was in HR. So each one was able to give me a different perspective to a series of questions I asked.

The general consensus that I got was that my colleagues also happened to enjoy their rotations as well. I asked them eight questions and collected responses from each person. Firstly, I asked them all how they would summarise their time with Progress Housing Group. This would give me a good starting point.

One of my colleagues who I asked said they also really enjoyed their experience, they said they learnt lots of things while there that they wouldn't have known without that opportunity. Another of my colleagues who I interviewed was a little more specific. They worked in reception and told me how fun and informative it was. Backing up my earlier statement, most of the feedback I received was positive, talking about how helpful their colleagues were and how much they enjoyed the tasks they were set.

I also asked about what specific skills each colleague had developed so far, and these ranged depending on what rotation each one was doing. For instance, patience, time management and computer literacy skills.

I've asked each of the colleagues I questioned about the specific tasks they've undergone as part of their rotation. Again, I received a variety of responses, each one different from the others. However, one common theme between each answer was that they seemed to enjoy all the tasks they were set.

When asked if they needed additional requirements, only one person said they did and similar to myself, the team they were working with managed to accommodate the additional needs that they had.

To summarise, I found this experience to be very positive and beneficial. Judging from the answers I got from the other Interns, it seems they are feeling the same way. I am eager to see what my next rotation involves.

Thanks for reading, Oliver


What is Project SEARCH?

Project SEARCH is a transition to work programme for students with learning disabilities and autism. Progress Housing Group have partnered with Hft, DFN Project SEARCH, Runshaw College, Lancashire County Council and South Ribble Borough Council to support ten interns from South Ribble, aged 19 to 21, to work in various roles within Progress Housing Group.

Find out more about Project SEARCH Internships at Progress Housing Group by visiting: Project SEARCH launches in South Ribble with Progress Housing Group, Runshaw College and South Ribble Borough Council.

If you would like to learn more about DFN Project SEARCH, please visit: https://www.dfnprojectsearch.org/