Interns with learning disabilities take on key worker jobs

Charity sees notable impact on society by interns securing frontline jobs during lockdown.

Published on: 18/06/20

A charity that supports young people with learning disabilities into employment, has announced a notable impact its interns are making during lockdown.

The announcement was made by DFN Project Search during Learning Disability Week. According to the charity, a rise in the demand for key workers during lockdown has given opportunities to 37 interns from the project.

When lockdown was implemented, DFN Project SEARCH worked with partners to ensure that interns were not left at home losing the skills they had worked hard to gain.

Interns were given support and training from partners and job coaches so they could continue to feel connected to the programme and remain employment focused.

Claire Cookson, DFN Projects SEARCH’s CEO, said: “Learning disability week is a great time to reflect on what has been accomplished so far during lockdown and the progress being made to support young people with learning disabilities and autism.

Describing the interns as ‘resilient’ she added: “I truly feel this represents a springboard for long-term change and more fairness and equality in society. Society has been given this opportunity to better understand the skills that people with learning disabilities bring, the importance of community cohesion and the importance of shared social values” she added.

Camila Majica-Braesyde, Work Experience Project Manager at the Imperial College Healthcare NHS Trust, and business liaison to Project SEARCH said: “Support from dedicated skilled workers are needed now more than ever, young people with learning disabilities and autism are not only skilled workers, they are key workers, and a talent pool that more businesses could be benefiting from.”