Project SEARCH recognised for positive employment outcomes


An initiative offering young adults with additional support needs the opportunity to gain work experience has been awarded for its positive outcomes. 

DFN Project SEARCH, a joint initiative between New College Lanarkshire, NHS Lanarkshire, SERCO, ISS and both North and South Lanarkshire Councils, offers a one-year employability programme giving students the opportunity to work in a busy hospital environment either at University Hospital Hairmyres, Monklands or Wishaw.

Both Monklands and Wishaw were recognised for an Employment Outcome Award at the DFN Project SEARCH Conference & Awards Ceremony in City Hall, Preston, for achieving above 70% of students securing paid employment over 16 hours a week – with Monklands achieving 75% and Wishaw achieving 88%. The national average is currently 60%.

New College Lanarkshire lecturers Liz Paterson from Monklands and Katie Murphy from Wishaw were presented with the accolade, which was awarded to 16 of 67 sites in the UK.

Katie Murphy, Project SEARCH Lecturer at New College Lanarkshire, said: “The success of the project is due to the strong partnership arrangement in place between the College, the host employers and both North and South Lanarkshire Councils.

“It’s amazing to see how gaining employment has a huge impact on the young people and their families.  All three sites are achieving fantastic outcomes year after year and it’s great to receive the recognition of being in the top 16 in the UK – especially this year as Wishaw will marking their 10th year of Project SEARCH. 

“70% is not an easy target so the awards are a great achievement for all involved.”

For more information about DFN Project SEARCH, visit:

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