Project Search Derby

We are a host business for Project SEARCH Derby, an international programme that supports young people with learning disabilities to gain skills and experience to assist them in securing paid employment.

We first welcomed nine interns to Royal Derby Hospital through the scheme in September 2019. During a one-year programme, and alongside employability skills training, interns participate in three 10-week placements hosted by various teams across the Trust and ISS partner organisations. 

Placements are available in catering, portering, receipts and distribution, administration, and library services. The interns are assigned a mentor for each placement and are supported by an on-site team of tutors and a job coach.

Disabled young adults are significantly underrepresented in the nation’s workforce and are far less likely to secure employment than the general population. Only six percent of young adults with a learning disability known to their local authority in England are in paid work. The project has been successful in other NHS Trusts and at Barts Healthcare, 52% of students who completed the internship went on to secure paid employment.

We are working in partnership with:

  • St Martins School - Horizons Sixth Form
  • ISS Facility Services
  • Derbyshire Education Business Partnership
  • DFN Project Search

If you would like to find out more about Project Search at Royal Derby Hospital please email: Anna Drake: or Jane Rodd:

Spotlight on our Project Search Students: Ryan

Ryan's Project Search story

Ryan, a student from Royal School for the Deaf Derby, has thanked our Restaurant Team for helping him reach his goals of working in the catering industry.

Read about Ryan's Project Search story >