Students from Bath College have completed an intensive job coaching programme and are ready for employment.

Project SEARCH, run in partnership with Bath and North East Somerset Council, Bath College and Virgin Care, is a year-long employability programme for young people with learning difficulties and disabilities.

Two interns, Reece Fenton and Chloe Mairs, have successfully found paid employment, and the rest of the group will continue looking for jobs with the support of Virgin Care’s employment inclusion team.

Reece, 19, from Bath, started a full-time job at McDonalds in April after completing work placements with The Assembly Rooms and the Bath Recycling Centre.

He said: “During my time at the Assembly Rooms, I was setting up for various functions that were taking place, including weddings and awards ceremonies.

“Because of my decision to come on this course, I have managed to get full-time paid employment. I am clearing tables when people have finished their food and changing bins when they are full.

“It is a great feeling that I have managed to get work and I would definitely recommend the course. Yes, it is hard work, but in the end it is worth it.”

Interns aged 18 to 24-years-old complete three 10-week work placements, with the help of an instructor and job coaches, as well as classroom based activities reinforcing what they’ve learnt on the job.

During the year, they learned how to manage their money with the Bath Building Society, and organised a Christmas fundraiser for CLIC Sargent, raising over £90 with a raffle and afternoon tea party.

The Project SEARCH programme is in its eighth year with Bath and North East Somerset Council.


Main image: Jack Mayhew, Reece Fenton, the Chair of Bath and North East Somerset Council, Councillor Cherry Beath, Chloe Mairs, Bath College Principal Laurel Penrose, Noel Broomfield (from the Bath Building Society) and Caryl Thomas (from the Bath Rugby Foundation)