Project Search students are proving they have the right skills for the workplace by securing paid employment just halfway through their course.
Two students have been offered casual contracts with major employers in the city: The Assembly Rooms and the Bath Recycling Centre.
Eighteen-year-old Kyle Longstaff started with Project Search in November and will be helping with housekeeping at The Assembly Rooms.
As part of the team at The Assembly Rooms, he will work to clean the venue for visitors and set up for important functions and weddings.
Ashley Westcott, 21, from Bath, has also secured paid work helping customers sort their waste at the Bath Recycling Centre.
He will be working alongside Roxy Garraway, a former Project Search student who is now in full-time employment at the centre.
Project Search is a programme run in partnership with Bath College, Bath and North East Somerset Council and Sirona Health and Care.
The aim is to help young people with learning difficulties and disabilities secure paid permanent jobs at the end of a year-long employability programme.
Kyle, from Saltford, was advised to apply for Project Search after starting a woodworking course at Bath College’s Somer Valley Campus.
The programme has given him a big confidence boost, helping him to get ready for work and improve his customer service skills.
He said: “Project Search is helpful for me because I wasn’t able to get a job before. This is my first paid job so it feels good.
“I was quite quiet at first and I didn’t want to do much, but now I feel more confident and I enjoy getting out of the house and doing something.”
Project Search tutor Catherine Stargatt said: “The thing about Project Search is there’s an end product, there’s something they’re working towards, which is a full-time job. Last year we ended up getting eight out of ten students employment.
“We’re really pleased that some of our students have already found some casual work. Kyle came to the programme late, he missed the first couple of months, and he worked really hard to catch up.
“He has gone from strength to strength, he has been exceptionally quick to learn new tasks and has impressed his employer no end. He has been advised to apply for a permanent position when he finishes Project Search.”
Project Search is accepting applications for new students, who must have an EHCP (Statement of Educational Needs).
Visitors are welcome to an open event at the Guildhall, Bath, on 4th May from 10am to 2pm.
For more information, visit www.bathcollege.ac.uk/product/project-search.