CONEL, Haringey Council, North Middlesex University Hospital NHS Trust and Tottenham Hotspur Foundation have joined together to support eleven young people with learning disabilities into employment as part of Project SEARCH.
The programme - which is run in partnership with Project SEARCH - a charity that works with organisations in the UK to help people with learning disabilities find a job, will provide the young people with a year-long supported internship at North Mid whilst they complete academic studies on site.
The young people will undertake job placements at North Mid and will receive support through job mentors and coaches from CONEL, North Mid and Tottenham Hotspur Foundation.
The interns will be taught English, maths and employability skills one hour daily, will receive practical work-based training and have 30 minutes of reflection daily. They will work in departments across the hospital which will build confidence, team-building and communication skills.
At the end of the academic year, they will have an opportunity to apply for a job at North Mid, which is the largest employer in north London.
Haringey Council is making referrals of young people to the programme and is engaging with the partnership. The Council is publicising the programme at local events to young people and their families and developing opportunities to ensure students can be linked to a wider network once they complete the internship.
According to the latest data from the Office for National Statistics, only 7% of people with a learning disability are currently in paid employment and these people face the most significant barriers to getting a paid job and a sustainable career. This figure increases to 65% for those that have been through Project SEARCH programmes.
Robin Hindley, Interim Deputy Principal at The College of Haringey, Enfield and North East London (CONEL) said:
“CONEL is very pleased to be working on this programme with Tottenham Hotspur Foundation and our local hospital, with the support of Project SEARCH. By working together, the young people will receive a greater level of support, allowing them to realise their potential and to be ready to complete with all other applicants for roles at the hospital and beyond.”
Cllr Gideon Bull, Haringey Council’s Cabinet Member for Local Investment and Economic Growth said:
“Haringey Council is delighted to be working with partners to tackle the barriers to sustainable employment for young people with learning disabilities. Every young person, whatever their background, deserves a pathway to future success. We are excited to see the young people grow, achieve and maximise their full potential.”
Alfredo Thompson, Director of Workforce Programmes for North Middlesex University Hospital, said:
“We are delighted to welcome these eleven young people and look forward to working with them and supporting them throughout the academic year.
“Project SEARCH is really important to us and is aligned to our commitment to our local communities. It’s about being an inclusive organisation and providing opportunities for young people across north London. We look forward to receiving their applications at the end of the year.”
Gareth Jones, Equalities and Inclusion Manager, Tottenham Hotspur Foundation said:
“Tottenham Hotspur Foundation has been working with Project SEARCH for the past couple of years to help identify work experience placements and employment opportunities for people with learning disabilities living in the Club’s local community. We are delighted to be working in partnership with North Middlesex Hospital and CONEL to support a new group of young people find meaningful, long-term employment which will help them live independent and fulfilling lives.”