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29 June 2017

Graduation day for CAVC University interns

Eleven Cardiff and Vale College students have graduated from internships at Cardiff University.

The celebration marks the completion of Wales’ first Project SEARCH - a major international project which provides employment and learning opportunities for young people with disabilities and/or autism.

The students have finished three ten-week internships across the University with support from CAVC and ELITE Supported Employment Agency staff.

Through participation in the scheme, four of the interns have secured employment opportunities where they will put the skills and work experience they have developed into action.

Andrew Horley, one of the students who has found a job in the supermarket based at CAVC’s City Centre Campus, said: “I liked working at the University – I worked in the coffee shops and I enjoyed working with the public.

“The project was helpful in getting me the job at Simply Fresh.”

Professor Karen Holford, Cardiff University Deputy Vice-Chancellor, said: “I’m delighted that our interns have now graduated.

“It’s been a pleasure to hear about the progress they’ve made and I’m confident that we’ve helped them to broaden their skills and knowledge as they move to the next stage of their lives. I wish them all the best of luck in the future.

“Project SEARCH is an incredibly rewarding experience for Cardiff University and I look forward to our continued involvement.”

Tom Snelgrove, Head of Preparation for Life and Work at Cardiff and Vale College, said: “It is wonderful to see the students flourish and I am so proud to see them not only graduate but also for several to find employment.

“As with all of our learners, the ultimate goal is to see them progress and this project is a prime example of that - by offering the experience and knowledge that only real-life working environments in leading organisations such as Cardiff University can provide.”

With Project SEARCH internships at the University set to continue in September 2017, Shane Halton, winner of the Intern’s Intern Award, had the following advice to future participants: “Try and get as much out of the course as you can.

“I’ve now got a part-time job in the School of Chemistry where I’ll be helping the Health and Safety Officer. Stay positive and hopefully you will get a job at the end too.”

The Project SEARCH scheme, started at Cincinnati Children's Hospital Medical Center by director Erin Riehle, is funded in Wales by the wider Engage to Change project, which works with employers to help young people with learning disabilities and/or autism develop employment skills through work placements and support into paid employment.