Super College supports route to employment

A skills programme supported by City of Glasgow is providing a route to employment for individuals who are on the autistic spectrum or have learning disabilities.

Project SEARCH is an employability training and education partnership which City of Glasgow College run together with Strathclyde University, Glasgow City Council Supported Employment Service and Autism Network Scotland.

For Roman Dymek, Cleaning Operations Manager at City of Glasgow College, the Project helps create a skilled and diverse workforce:  

“It specifically helps individuals who are on the autistic spectrum or have learning disabilities by providing on-site experience to help them acquire the skills they’ll need to find employment,” he said.

Two people benefiting from Project SEARCH are David Russell and Gerald McCoy; both are on the autistic spectrum and work part-time with the college’s cleaning services team.

“David and Gerald applied for the roles while on Project SEARCH and during the application and interview process they both displayed a great attitude and manner. They were nice, smart and clever and I was delighted to take them on,” said Roman.

Both men are working part-time at the college but David is keen to become a full-time employee:

“I really enjoy what I’m doing. The work is good, we meet different people, have made friends and the staff are nice. You don’t know how much you need a job until you have actually got one,” he explained.

Long term, Gerald is keen to add to his skills:

“I plan to apply for general grade courses at City of Glasgow College. I’d really like to move into IT and possibly go onto University to do gaming,” he said.

Helen McGillivray, who is Job Coach for Project SEARCH with Glasgow City Council Supported Employment Service, said:

“David and Gerald gained valuable work place skills and experience during their time on Project SEARCH and also had the opportunity to develop their job application and interview skills, which enabled them to find employment at City of Glasgow College.

“They were supported in work by a Job Coach from Glasgow Supported Employment Service to learn their roles. The co-operation of Roman and his team ensure they continue to be well supported and able to fulfil the requirements of their role to a high standard.”

“The cleaning service involves strict processes which are an ideal fit for David and Gerald,” explains Roman Dymek. “However, we also assigned specific tasks and individual schedules which provide a regular routine. We meet regularly as well so that any potential issues can be identified and addressed and where I can ensure they are receiving the support they need.”

Since hiring David and Gerald, the college have gone on to host a Project SEARCH cleaning placement and provide further opportunities.

As well as offering competitive, transferable and marketable job skills, those taking part develop their independence, confidence, and self-esteem by participating in three work placements (each for twenty hours per week over a ten week period) at the University of Strathclyde. This is supported by classroom learning.

Underlining its ongoing commitment to disability equality the college celebrates Disability Awareness Month throughout December and students and staff are encouraged to take part in awareness raising events and to learn more through information available on the website.

For more information on Project SEARCH please click here.