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A transformative scheme, Project Search, has taken off in East London, after helping young disabled locals find employment in the UK.
DFN Project Search offers initiatives to support almost two thousand young East London locals with autism and learning disabilities look for work. With three different sites, the scheme has helped 73 young people secure full-time employment.
The organisation was set up by ex-banker David Forbes-Nixon, whose son Charlie is physically disabled with learning disabilities. Charlie, who is twenty-years-old joined the programme last year, is currently working at Queen Mary’s Whitechapel Library as a library assistant.
70% of students who completed the one-year programme gained full-time employment, a strong improvement to the 5% of people with special needs and disabilities (SEND) who find paid work in the UK.
The programme immerses 18-25 year olds in a host business for 800 hours, almost like a placement. Along with this, it offers career-focused coaching throughout the process.
From September 2023, Project Search will have over 1,000 young people in the programme working with 120 host businesses. The charity is aiming to get 20,000 people with learning disabilities into jobs by 2035.