Ryan Timmins, Project Search

Project Search is an employability initiative delivered in partnership with NHS Lothian, WLC and West Lothian Council Ability Service,  focused on empowering young people who have additional needs to gain employment

West Lothian College has been working in conjunction with NHS Lothian (a Disability Confident Employer) on this hugely successful and innovative programme designed to prepare participating students for employment. This is delivered through a model of supported work experiences, employability skills training and job coaching over an academic year. It is open to young people aged 16-29 who have a learning disability and/or autism and who are leaving school and/or looking for employment.

Students are supported by a variety of staff within the programme experiencing a range of supported work experience whilst undertaking accredited education that further develops the skills for successful and sustainable employment.

18 year old Ryan Timmins from Livingston recently completed Project Search and is well aware of the profound change the programme has made to his life.

“Project Search really has changed my life. Thanks to support from Sheila, Lorna and the staff I worked with I was able to learn the job and perform my tasks well.  I am now employed within an NHS Hospital and this will hopefully enable me to get my own house.”

While Project Search helped Ryan develop skills essential to increasing employability, it also provided Ryan with a unique opportunity when the crew from the upcoming Fast and Furious movie were recently filming in Edinburgh.

“I am going to be an extra in the film! It’s really exciting and without Project Search I would never have had the confidence to take part.”