Scheme aims to find jobs for disabled teenagers

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A scheme has been launched aimed at getting youngsters with learning disabilities out of the classroom and into the workplace.

The scheme aims to provide students with the skills for future employment, and follows the Project SEARCH model, a successful American employment scheme.

Eight Doncaster teenagers with learning disabilities, who are in their last year of school or college, began the scheme last week.

They will work at Next Distribution Limited in Armthorpe, the first UK distribution centre to take part in Project SEARCH.

Mayor of Doncaster Ros Jones said: “I am working hard to bring more jobs to Doncaster and to ensure all our young people have access to the training and education they need to secure employment.

“We are looking forward to changing perceptions around the employability of people with a learning disability.

“The young people taking part are very capable and have so much to offer an employer.”

The young people will be based full time at Next during term time, and will receive both on-the-job work experience and classroom-based learning each day, supported by two instructors and one job coach.

Project SEARCH is a partnership between Doncaster Council, Doncaster College, Northridge Community School, Next Distribution Limited and DVTU – the Doncaster Vocational Training Unit.