Personal best for graduating students

Graduating from a skills programme supported by City of Glasgow meant digging deep for three young students.

Project SEARCH helps provide a route to employment for individuals who are on the autistic spectrum or have learning disabilities.

As part of their graduation, Robyn McInally, Nayanika Tyagi and Jack Zyszkiewicz each gave a presentation to an audience of over 100 employers, stakeholders, partners and family members.

Siobhan Martin, a lecturer with Community & Schools Engagement for City of Glasgow and based with Project SEARCH, explained:

“For these young people, all on the autism spectrum, to stand up in front of such a large a group was a great achievement. This was a personal best for each of them and comes on top of the good news that a number of the students who graduated from the programme have already secured employment.”

Robyn McInally will work at the University of Strathclyde over the summer as an administration assistant in Student Experience and Enhancement Services. Another student, Stuart Cartwright, has begun working as a waiter at Haggs Castle Golf Club.

His employer made adjustments to the application process allowing him to demonstrate his skills rather than take part in a formal interview where he may have struggled to successfully get his strengths across.

“The remaining students will continue to work with our partner, Glasgow Supported Employment Services to help them look for employment. This support will continue for at least a further two years,” added Siobhan.

The employability training and education partnership - Project SEARCH - is run by City of Glasgow College, the University of Strathclyde, Glasgow City Council Supported Employment Service and Autism Network Scotland.

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.

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.

For more information on Project SEARCH please click here.