DFN Project SEARCH looking to recruit Programme Specialist for London and South East – Charity Today News



DFN Project SEARCH, a leading transition to employment charity for young people with learning disabilities and autism, is looking to recruit a programme specialist for London and the South East.

The role will involve identifying opportunities to develop and grow DFN Project SEARCH programmes across London and the South East with the aim of expanding the programme and growing access to DFN Project SEARCH programmes.

The programme specialist will also be required to develop strategies to ensure that their operational programmes are achieving at least the average outcomes expected for young people, whilst developing strong partnerships with colleagues throughout their area.

The ideal candidate will be educated to a degree level or relevant professional qualification, and have held a senior position in a business, the education sector, the supported employment sector or the local authority sector.

They will also bring knowledge of English regulation and funding arrangements as they relate to education, supported employment and Access to Work, and an understanding of the jobs market and employability challenges faced by young people with SEND.

DFN Project SEARCH is a transition to work programme for students with learning disabilities and autism with ambitions to get 15,000 young adults with learning difficulties and autism into full-time paid jobs over the next decade.

The pioneering programme is total workplace immersion at its very best, facilitating a seamless combination of classroom instruction, career exploration, and hands-on skills training.

Today DFN Project SEARCH has 69 internationally recognised programmes across the UK, Ireland and Iberia, and has supported over 1500 interns into work, 1300 of which meet Project SEARCH’s success criteria. This criteria means that the work is over 16 hours per week, is non-seasonal, is paid the prevailing wage for the role and that the work is in an integrated setting.

On average 60 per cent of graduates obtain full-time paid employment meeting these criteria, which is well beyond national statistics of 5.9 per cent. Yet an additional 10 per cent find some type of paid employment, meaning the lives of 70 per cent of graduates are changed for the better.


DFN Foundation CEO – Claire Cookson

Claire Cookson, CEO of DFN Project SEARCH said:

“The young people we aim to serve – and the challenges they face – are all unique. We are looking to build a team that reflects this diversity.

“Our commitment to inclusion across disability, race, gender, age, class, religion, identity, and experience forms the cornerstone of our work.

“If you are driven by a desire to help young people improve their life chances and are willing to go the extra mile every day to achieve our aims, we want to hear from you.

“In return, we can offer you a supportive working environment, the reward of working to support an incredible talent pool of young people, and the opportunity to play a transformational role in the labour market for young people at a critical moment in time.”

For a full job description and to request an application form, email Claire Cookson at claire.cookson@dfnfoundation.org. Deadline for applications is Sunday 31st October 2020.

If you also wish to have an informal discussion about the opportunity, please contact Claire Cookson by email to set-up a call.

You can learn more about DFN Project SEARCH at https://www.dfnprojectsearch.org/