Catching up with our Project SEARCH interns for National Careers Week
This week, 6th – 11th March, is National Careers Week, which aims to inform and inspire the next generation as they enter the world of work.
To celebrate we caught up with our Project SEARCH interns and asked them how they are finding working at Progress Housing Group, so far.
This year’s cohort of eight Project SEARCH interns are now over half way through their internship after starting in autumn last year. They are currently working in their second placement within the Group.
Project SEARCH gives young people with learning disabilities and or autism the opportunity to spend an entire school year in a work environment, gaining the training and soft skills they need to successfully transition from education to paid employment.
As the host employer for the South Ribble partnership Project SEARCH programme, the Group supports the internship programme by offering work placements in varies roles and departments across the Group
Runshaw College, Lancashire County Council, DFN Project SEARCH, Hft and South Ribble Borough Council are also partners in the programme providing the interns with the support and resources to take part and complete their internships.
The interns will complete three placements by the end of their school year with hopes of seeking paid employment upon graduating from the programme in July.
Here’s what each of our interns had to say about their internships so far:
Brendan is currently working within our Facilities Management Team:
“Working with everyone has been good so far and this time around I’m enjoying spending time getting to know more people and getting out and about more.”
“Before Christmas I worked in the Health and Safety Team. Rob, Susanne and Ashleigh were all wonderful and I really enjoyed that placement. I got to take the work at my own pace and took my time. I got out in the community a little bit but it was very admin-based in Health and Safety so when I found out I was going to be with the Involvement Team this time, I thought it would be really good for me as it’s getting out and about more and meeting different people all the time.”
“I spent my first few months with Property Services and I enjoyed that, it was good. I worked on the computer a lot, putting PO numbers on Integra. In Health and Safety I have looked at risk assessments and how to fill them in. I really enjoy laminating the safety posters for properties and have been out on a site visit too.
Joseph – I was working with facilities management before and really enjoy it. This rotation I’m working in the Digital Services Team. I have been transcribing customer paper surveys to digital format on Survey Monkey and learning to read different types of handwriting. I have scanned iPads into inventory spreadsheets and then resetting them if they can be reused or putting broken ones away. I’m also proud of completing a spreadsheet that tracked all info for SIM cards.
Kushi is working in the HR & OD team:
Kushi: “It was really good working with Sam and Diane in the Involvement Team on my last rotation and now I’m enjoying working with Matt and helping with jobs. I think being part of Project SEARCH will help me get a paid job in the future, which is what I’m hoping for.”
George is working with our Community Safety Team:
George: “It was very rewarding working in recruitment last time. This time I’m getting stuck into a very different role and experiencing what the jobs here are like out in the community. In the future, I’d love to work in media, but I think it’s good to get work experience and skills in other types of work.”
Interns Matthew and Max are carrying out their latest placements at Runshaw College.
Matthew: “I carried out my first rotation in the Health and Wellbeing Team for RWP, I really enjoyed it. I helped with printing the letters and posting them out to tenants. I am now working with the Catering Team at Runshaw, helping to prepare the food items and equipment for the students to use in their classes.”
Max: “I am really enjoying this rotation as I am working in the college library, as I would like to be a librarian when I finish college. I help stack the shelves, send out books when they have been requested and checking them back in. I have also been helping the college Enrichment Team, who run clubs for the students. I really enjoyed the badminton and games club.
Jacqui De-Rose, Group Chief Executive at Progress Housing Group, added: “We are so proud of our interns and seeing how each of them has developed and grown under the tremendous support received the programme team has been wonderful.
"We feel incredibly privileged to be the host employer for the Project SEARCH programme again this year. The number of young adults with learning disabilities in employment is shockingly low. I’m pleased that we will be able to make our own contribution to help address that."
Find out more about National Careers Week at https://nationalcareersweek.com/
You can read more on our Project SEARCH internship programme by click any of the articles below: