In this edition of ELITE’s Jobseeker Spotlight, we catch up with recent Project SEARCH graduate Bradley. Bradley first came into contact with ELITE after he was accepted onto our Project SEARCH internship in Bridgend. Project SEARCH, a year-long internship as part of our Engage to Change project, sees interns hone their work skills and experience through education and placements. Bradley was part of a small group of fellow interns who were accepted onto the first ever Project SEARCH in Bridgend.

Held at The Princess of Wales Hospital, with support from Bridgend College and ELITE Supported Employment, Bradley started on the project in September 2018. Bradley has a high-functioning form of Autism but initially struggled with aspects of social interaction and social comprehension. Following an initial assessment from ELITE’s Employment Advisors, it was apparent that Bradley had issues with disruption to schedules and routine – a common obstacle for many ELITE Jobseekers with Autism! With this information, ELITE’s Peter Obradovic, Lauren Wayman and Kate Goode began the creation of Bradley’s bespoke employment plan. Phil Crockett, the project tutor from Bridgend College, worked alongside the ELITE staff to implement Bradley’s plan into the Project SEARCH format – by splitting the year between classroom activities and 3 separate work placements in the hospital.

Bradley began to excel early within the classroom environment. One of the front-runners when it came to academics and interaction, Bradley’s confidence grew quickly with his project peers coming to him for advice and affirmation. As for the three internships, Bradley expressed a desire and competence for administrative work. This was taken into account when he was placed into admin roles within the hospital’s mental health and fracture clinics. With minimal input from ELITE’s Employment Advisors, Bradley adapted well to his new routine and duties through a thorough induction process conducted by hospital staff. By the time his third internship came around in Easter 2019, Neil Emmott of ELITE’s Employer Engagement team had identified an ideal position for Bradley outside of Project SEARCH – an Admin Assistant role with Seren Support Services in Tythegston. Follow a successful interview, Bradley was given an ideal compromise for his third internship splitting his time between both Seren Support Services and the hospital’s fracture clinic! With the end of the Project SEARCH year, Bradley began work solely with Seren becoming one of the first interns to secure employment through the project… but not before his graduation ceremony! In front of a packed auditorium at the hospital’s MPEC, Bradley came up to collect his award and even gave a speech to showcase his journey through Project SEARCH.

Currently working 4 days a week at Seren Support Services, Bradley has really demonstrated how successful supported employment practices and strategies are. With Bradley exceeding expectations into employment, we spoke with his Employment Advisor Lauren Wayman who works here at ELITE:

“Bradley has always been a pleasure to work with. His excellent work ethic has always been an inspiration to those around him. Since meeting him in September he has always been keen to work within an Admin role and as such we have always tried our best to get him into roles that are based around that kind of work. I have continually witnessed him using excellent skills in the workplace that are perfectly suited to an Admin role, especially organisational and communication skills. I have thoroughly enjoyed working with Bradley and I am so proud of the fact that he has found employment after his time on Project SEARCH. I can’t wait to see what he goes on to do in the future.”