The University has hosted MSPs Audrey Nicoll and Jackie Dunbar, to learn more about our Project SEARCH programme which is helping transform the lives of young people with learning disabilities and autism in the north-east.
Project SEARCH has been running at the University since 2013, and provides vital workplace skills helping young people with learning disabilities and autism find paid employment.
As well as touring the classroom and speaking with interns about their achievements and future career ambitions, the MSPs also met with the on-site team and representatives from partner organisations including North East Scotland College and the Department for Work & Pensions.
Heather Crabb, who leads the University’s contribution to the Project SEARCH, commented:
“We were delighted to welcome Audrey and Jackie to the University to learn more about the programme and how it is helping local young people.
“Their visit followed a successful event that took place at the Scottish Parliament, where we showcased Project SEARCH as an example of the higher education sector's contribution to economic transformation across Scotland.
“This year, we are delighted to be celebrating our 10th anniversary. 68% of graduates are now in employment in the north-east of Scotland – nearly 10 times above the average employment rate for those with a learning disability who do not enter any type of post-school programme.
“Upon completion of the programme, graduates have gained over 800 hours of work experience in a variety of fields and are ready to enter the workplace as confident individuals, willing and eager to make a valuable contribution.”