We are delighted that our first 'Project Search' group has started, in conjunction with the Mariott Hotel, Heathrow. Ten past and present pupils are embarking on a years internship where they will learn skills from across a range of 6 departments. A tutor and two job coaches will support the pupils throughout the year to ensure they learn the skills required for a range of roles, they continue to develop and maintain their numeracy and literacy skills and they develop an outstanding CV. They will also be supported to apply for jobs and attend interviews.
This ground breaking project was started in the USA and we are proud to be able to give our pupils the opportunity to access this excellent program. Young adults who take part in Project Search typically have an 80% success rate of finding employment compared to around 8% if they attend college courses.
We are already planning for September 2017 and are hoping not only to continue working with the mariott but are also looking to extend our Project Search to other services eg Health, Retail, beauty or Horticulture.
Above is a photo of the First Cohort of Apprentices.
PLEASE READ ON TO HEAR ABOUT THE LATEST UPDATES AND FOLLOW THE STORY OF OUR PROJECT SEARCH INTERNS.
UPDATE - JULY 2017
Here is a quote from Mrs Lavender, parent of Rhianna Lavender, Rhianna was in the first intake of Project Search apprentices. Here is what mum says about it:
I just wanted to say thank you again for helping Rhianna to get her job. She is such an amazing young lady, and is working so hard and loving every minute of working at the care home . She's coping well with the shifts, I'm so very proud of her. It was a bit hard at first being on her own, away from the rest of the Project Search interns, but she is doing so well. I am probably the proudest mum ever and it is all thanks to everyone at Project Search for all the help and training you gave her. Thank you again. Nicola Lavender
UPDATE - SEPTEMBER 2017
Our Second cohort of Apprentices have just started at The Marriott Hotel. Last year's cohort were very successful. You can read all about their achievements in the Project Search Newsletter July 2017 (attached at the bottom of this page). There has also been an article in Hillingdon News which is attached below.
Here is a photo of our Second Cohort, taken at the "Pinning Ceremony" where they were presented with their name badges.
UPDATE NOVEMBER 2017
Our First Cohort of Apprentices have now been through the programme completely. We are delighted that so many of them have secured employment. Project Search continues to support those who have not yet found jobs. Below is a chart showing where our First Cohort have found employment:
Table of Cohort 1 Placement
|1||Marriott - Engineering & Maintenance|
|1||Marriott - Conference & Banqueting|
|1||UK Care Home|
|1||Heathrow: Zone Owner / Customer Service|
|1||Odeon Cinema - Cinema Host|
|1||Toys R Us - Retail Assistant|
|1||Interview lined up with Hamleys at Heathrow|
UPDATE DECEMBER 2017
Here are some photographs of our second cohort of Apprentices, hard at work at the Marriott Hotel. Each apprentice gets assigned to a particular area, for example, Concierge, Leisure, Banquetting, Engineering and Maintentance. They they rotate through the different roles.
UPDATE - DECEMBER 2017
Please find attached (at the bottom of this page) the latest Project Search News Bulletin (December 2017)
UPDATE - MARCH 2018
Please find attached (at the bottom of this page) the latest Project Search News Bulletin (March 2018).
UPDATE - JULY 2018
Our second group of interns are approaching the end of the Project SEARCH supported internship programme run by Meadow in partnership with the Marriott Hotel, Heathrow.
Project SEARCH is a transition to work programme for young people with learning disabilities and it should be their last year of education. Interns need to be aged 17–24 at the beginning of the programme and have a current Education, Health and Care Plan. Project SEARCH takes the classroom into the premises of a local employer and teaches interns employability skills on-site in a real workplace environment, helping them to make a smooth transition from education to employment. Each intern completes three placements in different departments within the hotel, building their skills so that they become work ready.
At 9.00 am each morning, interns complete a one hour Employability Skills lesson following the Project SEARCH curriculum, then leave the training room to spend five hours fully immersed in the Marriott workforce. While in their departments, interns are evaluated by Project SEARCH staff and receive feedback and job coaching to enable them to achieve their full potential within the role. At 3.00 pm, interns return to the training room for a final reflection on their day. They work on their communication skills by talking about what went well and if any issues have arisen, it is an opportunity to plan how these can be resolved. Interns leave the hotel at 3.30 pm and are required to travel independently, as part of the programme.
We are very proud of the fact that five of our current interns have been successful in achieving the Project SEARCH goal of paid employment and three have already started their jobs. One intern is working as a trainee locksmith, one is an Odeon cinema host and one is employed as a Nando’s restaurant host. In August, one intern will begin the role of Linen Porter at the Marriott and one has secured a horticulture apprenticeship with the London Borough of Hillingdon, which begins in September. Our remaining interns have job applications currently being processed and these will hopefully lead to paid employment in the near future. Once employed, our interns can access follow-on support if required, to help them maintain their jobs. It is this level of support that makes the Project SEARCH programme unique and ensures the success of our young people.
UPDATE - July 2018
Here are some quotes from parents of some of the interns from the past two years. The quotes were gathered by Saimmah, Job Coach. Permission has been granted to use the quotes below:
Quoted by Mrs Andrews (parent)
‘Ellen started in September last year as an intern at the Marriott hotel as part of the Project SEARCH programme. Aged 24 years, this was most definitely Ellen’s last opportunity to get support for employment via the education route. She’d already tried through further education colleges, all offering programmes to prepare young people with learning difficulties for work, but as each year ended, she was no nearer to achieving her dream of having a paid job. It was very easy to think that this would never happen.
Thankfully we found project SEARCH and learnt about the partnership working that they have with local businesses. Ellen was successfully interviewed and offered a year’s placement at the Marriott Hotel. A careers action plan was devised for Ellen, identifying what Ellen was good at and what type of job she would like to do. Local employers were contacted and earlier this month Ellen was successful at interview and offered a job at Nando’s.
Ellen’s year with Project SEARCH has been amazing. She was truly integrated and accepted within the hotel environment; has grown in confidence and self-esteem; and with Project SEARCH’s support she is now beginning a new chapter in her life as an independent, working woman.’
Quote from Elizabeth – Ellen (Careers Advisor for ongoing support)
‘Ellen is absolutely loving her work at Nando’s, her employers have nothing but praises for her, I have been working with Ellen since she started her new career and together we have worked on developing her skills further to enable her growth within the company’
Quoted by Julie (Parent)
‘Shay has learnt new transferable skills at his time on the Project SEARCH programme and his confidence, self-esteem, independence and understanding of the world of work has increased so much, we are delighted to see what he has achieved. As a family we are bursting with pride that Project Search has equipped Shay with the skills to achieve the ultimate goal, to be employed in a job that he enjoys now.
I believe Project Search is an absolutely fantastic scheme which helps young people with learning difficulties realise that they are employable and have many worthwhile skills to offer, maybe it just takes them a little longer to learn or they need to learn in a different way and need patient people supporting them’
Quoted by Mr Mann – (Parent)
‘Jason gained a really good job through ‘Project SEARCH’, he is paid really well and is really happy in his role.’
Quote by employer (in Heathrow airport)
‘Jason is a great and hardworking person, we would say one of the most hardworking staff we have employed, we really support Project SEARCH programme and feel proud of having Jason as part of our team’
Quoted by Mrs Chambers (Parent)
‘Project SEARCH’ has helped my son in many ways, it has brought out great confidence in Jaden, I really can’t thank the project enough, I really wish it can roll off in other towns, even after completing the programme, the support Jaden has had afterwards in job-searching and securing paid employment has been phenomenal.’
‘It’s the most Perfect programme, excellent communication from staff, intense support provided whilst on and after completion of the programme, I really can’t find any faults.’
‘I would say this programme has changed my child’s life forever…. I’m so happy.’
Quoted by Mrs Handule (Parent)
Project SEARCH programme has helped Hashi to improve his interaction, I really never thought Hashi could ever get a job, the programme has given him a valuable opportunity to secure paid employment.
Hashi has learnt to become independent and even sent some of his earned money as a birthday gift overseas to his grandma, his grandma was so proud of him and how far he has got.
Quote from Elizabeth reg Hashi (Careers Advisor for ongoing support)
‘Hashi has been receiving ongoing support from me whilst in paid employment, his employers are pleased with him and the way he has managed to develop his skills, Hashi wants to grow in the business and has recently requested to move onto a more skilled position within the organisation which the employer has encouraged Hashi to apply for’
Quote from Elizabeth (Careers Advisor for ongoing support)
‘Charlie is doing well at work, he really loves his job and enjoys the frequent contact he has with customers, he has really settled in well with his team and feels this job really is a great match to his personality’
Quote from Nicola (Parent)
‘I just wanted to say thank you again for helping Rhianna get her job she is such an amazing young lady and is working so hard she loves every minute of working in her job. She is coping so well with the 12 hour shifts, I am probably the proudest mum ever and it is all thanks to everyone at Project SEARCH for all your help in job searching, taking her to interviews, supporting her and the training you gave her.’
Quote from Karen (Parent)
‘Amazing, wow I just can’t believe my son has grown up so much. Thank you to you all, It’s really amazing he has a full time job which he is going to enjoy, I am short for words….so proud’
UPDATE - FEBRUARY 2019
On Thursday 31st January, our Project SEARCH group attended the Council’s Getting Ready for Work Event at the Civic Centre. The event gives young people the opportunity to explore their options and collect information about possible next steps towards employment.
Interns helped the event organiser by meeting, greeting and directing visitors, helping with the refreshments, and helping to clear the main hall at the end of the session. Some also practised their communication skills by giving information to people who visited our display. Following a speech about our programme by Mrs Simpson the Course Tutor, two of our current interns, Joshua and Nathan bravely spoke to the audience about their personal experiences at the Marriott Hotel and they both did an amazing job.
It was good to see so many past students of Meadow at the event and to receive application requests for our fourth cohort. Project SEARCH Interns must be aged 17-24 and have an Education, Health and Care Plan. Please contact Mr Bunker on email@example.com for further information.
Pictured to the right are Interns Joshua and Nathan with Stuart Smith, SEND Team, Event Organiser.
The Project SEARCH team are also happy to announce their first employment success of the current cohort.
Saimmah our Job Developer has been busy engaging with employers and accompanying interns to their interviews. Adam began employment at Heathrow Airport as a Guest Ambassador on 1st February. His job is full time and involves him using an Ipad to answer passenger enquiries. Adam’s parent said “I am very happy that Adam has found a job and he seems to be really enjoying it. Project SEARCH was a good experience for him and gave him the confidence to be able to work with customers,” Adam is very pleased to have achieved his goal of paid employment and commented “The work I did on Project SEARCH has helped me to understand employment. I have learnt new skills that have helped me to get a job.” This week we have also received the fantastic news that another intern has achieved his employment goal. Joshua has been offered a job at Costco and will begin work later this month. Congratulations to both interns.