Project Search


Project SEARCH is a partnership venture which prepares young people with learning difficulties / disabilities for competitive employment. The aim of the project is to provide young people between the ages of 17-25 years a one year supported internship programme.

This will provide and benefit them with transferable skills through doing different job roles, training in employability and support into independent living skills to assist and place them at an advantage towards a successful and positive transition into adult life.

Originally piloted in 1996 at Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Centre, where Erin Riehle was frustrated with the high turnover rate in entry level jobs that involved re-stocking supplies.  Erin wondered if people with disabilities could fill these entry level jobs. She turned to the Great Oaks Institute of Technology and Career Development and asked if her idea was possible. Working in partnership with these organisations, the idea of filling a handful of jobs in Cincinnati Children’s Emergency Department grew into a new way of working together to equip young people with skills and opportunities for life and this is where the journey of Project SEARCH began.

Today Project SEARCH has grown to over 30 sites within Britain with its primary objective to secure full time employment for young people with learning difficulties.

Programme Overview

Interns will be attending the programme for the full school year at London Heathrow Marriott Hotel. Marriott hotel will provide a training room for the interns, the site will be staffed with a tutor/coach and two job skill trainers to support the interns to meet their potential whilst on the programme.


Once the school year begins...the first few weeks of the program are focused on new employee orientation, hands-on skill assessment and familiarisation within the business environment. Interns will develop a career plan which guides the internship selection process and individualised job search.

Employment Skills Curriculum: Interns will work on employability and transferable skills for approximately one hour of their day. During learning time interns will complete twelve units of employability skills which include: Team Building, Getting Around your Workplace, Workplace Safety, Technology, Social Skills, Communication, Presentation Skills, Interviewing Skills, Money Management, Health and Wellness, Job Search Skills and Keeping a Job.

Internships/Worksite Rotations: Through a series of three targeted rotations the interns acquire competitive, marketable and transferable skills to enable them to apply for a related position. On site Project SEARCH staff collaborate with departments to provide ongoing support for the interns. The Project SEARCH staff delivers the training and develops job accommodations and standard work procedures. Once the intern has mastered the core skills, additional skills are layered on to improve their marketability.

Support in Job Placements: Skills trainers/tutor/coach will work alongside the interns with long term support and assistance aimed to secure a full time job. Please note young adults who take part in Project Search typically have a 60% success rate of finding employment compared to around 7% if they attend college courses.

Eligibility criteria

  • Be between 17 – 25 years
  • Willing to secure employment
  • Have a EHCP plan (Education Health Care Plan)
  • Resident of Hillingdon Borough

Now with our fourth year of enrolment and in continued partnership with Meadow School, London Heathrow Marriott Hotel (our business host) and Hillingdon Council, we are seeking to recruit our next cohort of (10-12) young people within Hillingdon area onto our Project SEARCH programme.



Then we look forward to hearing from you

or for enquiries contact 01895 443310


Please visit the page links on the top right of the page
to see photos, quotes and information about our
Cohorts of interns, including our current year interns.



Click here to read the latest Project Search Newsletter and previous newsletters.

Click here to view some  Youtube clips about Project Search.