The programme, which is run in partnership with Project SEARCH, a charity that works with organisations in the UK to help people with learning disabilities find a job, will provide the young people with a year-long supported internship at North Middlesex University Hospital while they complete their academic studies at CONEL.
The students, aged between 16 and 24, will work in various departments across the hospital and will be given tasks designed to build their self-confidence, teambuilding and communication skills.
In addition to hands-on work experience, they will receive mentoring and attend additional workshops organised by Tottenham Hotspur Foundation to help further develop their career potential and prepare them for the workplace.
At the end of the academic year, the students will have an opportunity to apply for a full-time job at the hospital. Anyone who isn’t successful will be supported by Tottenham Hotspur Foundation to find alternative employment.
According to the latest data from the Office for National Statistics, only seven per cent of people with a learning disability are currently in paid employment and these people face the most significant barriers to getting a paid job and a sustainable career. This figure increases to 65 per cent for those that have been through Project SEARCH programmes.
Robin Hindley, Interim Deputy Principal at CONEL, said: “CONEL is very pleased to be working on this programme with Tottenham Hotspur Foundation and our local hospital, with the support of Project SEARCH. By working together, the young people will receive a greater level of support, allowing them to realise their potential and to be ready to compete with all other applicants for roles at the hospital and beyond.”
Gareth Jones, Equalities and Inclusion Manager, Tottenham Hotspur Foundation, said: “Tottenham Hotspur Foundation has been working with Project SEARCH for the past couple of years to help identify work experience placements and employment opportunities for people with learning disabilities living in the Club’s local community. We are delighted to be working in partnership with North Middlesex Hospital and CONEL to support a new group of young people find meaningful, long-term employment which will help them live independent and fulfilling lives.”
Alfredo Thompson, Director of Workforce Programmes, North Middlesex University Hospital, said: “We are thrilled to welcome the young people to our hospital and look forward to working with them and supporting them throughout the academic year. Project SEARCH is important to us as it’s aligned to our commitment to our local communities, ensures we are an inclusive organisation which provides opportunities for young people across north London.”