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Project SEARCH

Updated for near completion of second year

We are now in our third year of Bradford Project SEARCH and have 11 new Interns who are going in to their first work placements.

Meet our Interns and see where they will be working up until December.


Our Business Advisory Committee has also entered its second year and we are delighted that many partners from last year have returned to continue in their support of the Project.  

Our programme also featured on Radio 4's Today Programme.  Press on the logo to hear what we had to say.


We have almost completed our second year of Project SEARCH with eight

current Interns graduating on 9 July 2015!

Background - where it began!

Project SEARCH was developed at Cincinnati Children's Hospital Medical Center, a research environment that fosters visionary thinking and innovation. It all began in 1996, when Erin Riehle was Director of Cincinnati Children's Emergency Department. Erin felt that, because the hospital served individuals with developmental disabilities (learning difficulties), it made sense that they should commit to hiring people in this group. She wondered if it would be possible to train people to fill some of the high-turnover, entry level positions in her department, which involved complex and systematic tasks such as stocking supply cabinets. As a starting point, Erin presented her ideas to Susie Rutkowski, then the special education director at Great Oaks Career Campuses. Erin and Susie formed a partnership that was instantaneous, and together they launched Project SEARCH.

Since its inception, Project SEARCH has grown from a single program site at Cincinnati Children's to over 200 sites across the United States and Canada, England, Scotland, and Australia. Project SEARCH's primary objective is to secure competitive employment for people with disabilities.

Some facts

Nationally, the employment rates for people with LD is 7.7%, Project SEARCH Interns have 70% employment rate

There are now 17 sites in UK “ Bradford Teaching Hospitals is the first hospital site in North of England with the closest geographical site at Nottingham Hospital

How does it work?

Project SEARCH is an Annual Programme which provides three "internships" for students in their final year of education or in their first year of supported employment.

It involves continual feedback on performance and areas for learning and ensures improvement. Each Intern has a mentor. We aim for our mentors to be the best people at the jobs, so that the Interns have good role models.

Interns carry out "real" jobs in real work environments. They have the opportunity to think about what job they would like to do, and we aim to match them with that type of work experience. With the Job Coach and Tutor, they develop a career plan. The outcome that is sought is permanent employment.

If you would like more information about Project SEARCH Bradford, please contact Lorraine Cameron, Business Liaison on 01274 382428

Bradford Project SEARCH Partners

Southfield SchoolSouthfield is a 'generic' special school, which means that they provide a specialist educational provision across a wide spectrum of learning difficulties and complex disabilities. Southfield School holds the franchise with Cincinnati Children's hospital to use the resources and expertise of Project SEARCH.
For Project SEARCH Bradford, they provide:
  • Full time Tutor
  • Project Assistant
  • Facilities for the Base Room and petty cash for incidentials
  • Funding for DVD

hftHft is a national charity, providing local support services for people with learning disabilities throughout England. They support people to live life the way they choose - they empower people to make their own choices, including finding a job.
For Project SEARCH Bradford, they provide:
  • Full time Job Coach
  • Additional job coach for initial placements
  • Resources for Base Room
  • Funding for DVD

Travel TrainingBradford Travel Training Unit helps people who have never travelled on public transport before and need to get to school or college or work. They also help people who travel some places on their own but want to learn new journeys. They believe that safe, responsible, independent travel helps reduce the impact of exclusion on disadvantaged individuals and supports their integration into education, employment and society in general.
For Project SEARCH Bradford, they provide:
  • One to one travel training for all Interns
  • Ongoing suipport for Interns learning new routes.
  • All twelve Interns are now travelling independently to and from the hospital each day
  • For six Interns, this is the first time they have ever travelled independently
  • Member of steering group

Bradford CouncilBradford Council serves an estimated population of 522,500 people in almost 200,000 households. The Council has agreed corporate priorities which consist of two outcomes which are to transform educational outcomes by improving attainment and promoting prosperity by driving regeneration to support the district's economy, jobs and skills.
For Project SEARCH Bradford, they provide:
  • Funding for the Job Coach

BTHFTMost people recognise the Foundation Trust through our two hospitals - Bradford Royal Infirmary and St Luke's Hospital, where we care for the majority of local people. We also provide many services by a range of health professionals in the community, such as doctors, nurses, midwives and physiotherapists. We provide, these services from many different locations such as GP practices, community hospitals and other neighbouring hospitals in Airedale, Halifax and Huddersfield.
For Project SEARCH Bradford, we provide:
  • Work placement opportunities (three per intern)
  • Mentors
  • Base Room (Field House)
  • Induction programme including Infection Control, Information Governance, Fire Safety and HR
  • Business Liaison
  • Producing DVD