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University internship leads to job

8 May 2017

Project Search Intern working in shop

A Cardiff University intern has become the first person in Wales to find employment through a major international project which provides employment and learning opportunities for young people with disabilities.

Andrew, who is 23 and from Cardiff, was one of 12 Cardiff and Vale College (CAVC) students with conditions such as autism spectrum disorder and learning disabilities who were given internships at the University.

Project SEARCH Interns

He completed three 10-week internships at coffee shops around the University as part of Project SEARCH, an initiative that started in the USA 20 years ago.

Andrew has now found full time employment at Simply Fresh, the supermarket based at CAVC’s City Centre Campus on Dumballs Road in Cardiff.

Independent Living Skills

CF10, the College’s commercial and retail arm, regularly employs students with a large number coming from CAVC’s Independent Living Skills Department for people with additional learning and support needs.

Andrew said: “I liked working at the University – I worked in the coffee shops and I enjoyed working with the public. It was helpful in getting me the job here at Simply Fresh although it is different.

“I am happy that I got this job. I did work experience here after I finished my course in Work Skills Level 3 and I enjoyed that. I have fun working here.”

Project Search intern with tutor

Cardiff University Deputy Vice-Chancellor Professor Karen Holford said: “It is great news that Andrew has become the first of the Cardiff University interns from Project SEARCH to find employment. Congratulations Andrew.

“He worked in several of our coffee shops across the University so it’s great that he has been offered a job where he can put that valuable experience to good use...”

“I hope others will follow in Andrew’s footsteps as we continue our involvement.”

Professor Karen Holford Professor

Cardiff University is one of just three universities in the UK to be involved in Project SEARCH, with support from CAVC and ELITE Supported Employment Agency. The scheme is funded in Wales by the wider Engage to Change Project, which works with employers to help young people with learning disabilities and/or autism to develop employment skills through work placements and support into paid employment.

Learning Disability Wales was awarded £10m by the Big Lottery Fund to lead a consortium of organisations to deliver Engage to Change. The Getting Ahead 2 grant was developed in partnership with the Welsh Government to meet priorities for supporting children and young people.

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