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Royal Derby Hospital, Derby, DE22 3NE

The Project SEARCH @ Royal Derby Hospital programme is a supported internship, training and employment opportunity for young adults who have an Education Health Care Plan (EHCP), aged 18-19, who are looking for a year-14 education pathway, who have autism or learning difficulties. The programme takes place entirely at the Royal Derby Hospital site. The project provides real life work experience, combined with training in employability and independent living skills, as well as formulating a CV.

What support is available?

The interns are matched to their placements in terms of skills, abilities, and interests, and this differs for each student. The interns are supported by the tutor, job coach and their mentors who work alongside them in each department, helping them to learn the skills required in each placement, until they can perform the tasks independently. The tutor and on-site job coach also support them in placement and help them to develop an employability plan, CV and write letters to employers.

What does a typical day look like?

You will spend about 85 to 95% of your time working. The remaining time is spent in group sessions in the morning, starting at 8:45am to 9:45am. You will learn team-building, workplace safety, financial literacy, employability, preparing for employment, health and wellness, self advocacy and technology.


Project SEARCH has been running at Royal Derby Hospital since September 2019. There are 10 interns based at the hospital for one academic year, where they gain 30 weeks of placement experience in different departments in the hospital. During a one year programme, and alongside employability skills training, interns participate in 3 x 10 week placements hosted by various teams across the Trust and ISS. Placements are available in:

  • catering
  • portering
  • receipts and distribution
  • administration
  • pathology and
  • clinical engineering

Brighter Futures

Project SEARCH is there to help young people with learning difficulties to make successful transitions from school to productive adult life. The goal for each student is competitive employment somewhere in the community using the transferable skills they have acquired at the Royal Derby Hospital.

The Ideal Candidate:

  • is aged 18-19
  • has a current and active EHC Plan.
  • can commit to a 5-day week programme.
  • can commit to working full-time (at least 16 hours/week) at the end of the Project SEARCH programme
  • has the potential to develop skills required to meet the needs of a business, host or in community.
  • is within travelling distance of Royal Derby Hospital and an independent traveller.

Contact Details

If you would like to find out more about Project Search at Royal Derby Hospital, please contact:

Website: Project SEARCH @ Royal Derby Hospital