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University interns celebrate graduation day

4 July 2018

Project SEARCH interns

Students from Cardiff and Vale College (CAVC) have graduated from their internships at Cardiff University.

Young people with learning disabilities were offered the chance to be part of a major international project with Cardiff University, which saw them taking up internships in various parts of the University.

Over 30 weeks during 2017/18 the students were based in a number of schools and departments within the University such as the School of Earth and Ocean Sciences, and Communications and Marketing gaining hands on experience of the work carried out there.

Jade Project SEARCH

Jade Smith undertook her internship with the Estates and Campus Facilities department as a domestic assistant based at Cartwright Court. Following her internship she was offered a job with Cardiff University. Jade said: “I enjoyed all aspects of my internship, it has made me feel more confident. I start my job on Monday, without Project SEARCH I doubt I would have the confidence to have gone for it.”

All of the interns are students at Cardiff and Vale College (CAVC) and were supported by both CAVC and ELITE Supported Employment Agency.

The scheme, a global initiative that started in the United States, is funded in Wales by the wider Engage to Change project with Cardiff University being the first employer in Wales to take part in Project SEARCH.

The graduation ceremony held in the University’s main building was well attended with both parents and many of the mentors and managers the interns worked for showing their support.

With the organisers already starting to plan for the next round of internships, Lily Beyer from ELITE Supported Employment Agency said: “One of the unexpected but important benefits of a university department hosting an intern is the positive effect it has on staff.

“Feedback has shown that staff feel more cohesive as a team as well as getting a sense of purpose and positivity from working with a Project SEARCH intern. This project relies on departments signing up to having an intern and it wouldn't be the success it is without this engagement.”

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