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Ten young people with learning disabilities have started a year-long internship with Bath & North East Somerset Council.

It’s the 11th year the council has welcomed interns from Project SEARCH – an initiative led by the council in partnership with Bath College and Virgin Care. The aim of the scheme is to support young adults with learning disabilities into work.

Over the next 12 months the interns will work in three placements across the council. The aim is enable the interns to develop skills, gain experience and grow in confidence and independence.

Councillor Dine Romero, council leader, said, “I’m delighted to welcome our new Project SEARCH interns to the council. The average employment rate for adults with a learning disability in the UK has dropped to just 6%. We need to address that and increase the opportunities available to young people with learning disabilities. Project SEARCH enables the interns to develop the skills they need to find sustainable employment. Over the years we’ve had huge success with our graduates finding employment through the programme. I’m sure this year’s cohort will benefit enormously from their time with us.”

During their time at the council, the interns receive on-site tutoring from Bath College and Job Coach support from Virgin Care. The partners also work with local organisations to help interns find vacancies and apply for jobs.

Following the successful completion of their internships next June, all graduates will be presented with certificates at a special ceremony at the Guildhall.

Enrolment for Project SEARCH is via Bath College and can be found here