Earlier this month COINS embarked on its second year of working in partnership with DFN Project Search.
Project Search is an international transition to work programme committed to transforming the lives of young people with learning disabilities and autism, with ambitions to get 10,000 young people into full-time paid jobs over the next decade by helping to provide work experience and skills for the workplace.
Working with DFN Project Search, Ealing Mencap and Hammersmith & Fulham College, this year COINS is providing a working office environment and experience for nine interns as part of DFN Project Search. The partnership follows on from earlier this year when COINS stepped in last minute after the interns were unable to attend their arranged placement due to lockdown restrictions. Working predominantly remotely, before the students moved back to college when it was safe, COINS were able to work with the mentors and students to give them an insight into the business and how different roles might operate within this.
The interns, along with the support of three dedicated job coaches will be experiencing working life with COINS and COINS Foundation. To experience various aspects of the business and participate in tasks requiring different skills they will take on three different roles during the placement, focussing on each role for three months to give them the opportunity to learn and grow within it. Work plans and task descriptions are put together for each role the students will be working in, and the mentors will adapt these based on what the students need in order to fully understand the tasks whilst being sufficiently challenged.
As a transitional programme, the main goal is for students to complete the placement with the experience and confidence to go on to secure part of full-time employment, so the programme looks at all areas of this. Learning to navigate the commute, the responsibility of work, office life and a range of real work challenges will help to provide and develop their skills for life after education.
Now that the students are based in the office, we hope that this will offer them the full experience that they may have missed when working remotely. There is a combination of students who have returned for this placement and new interns and mentors have already seen a difference in individuals approach simply by being in an office environment.
We look forward to seeing them progress over the coming months and hope that our support will help more young people to go on to discover new skills or interests they might have and thrive in, whatever path they choose to take.