Hft works with DFN Project SEARCH, and various other partners to run several supported internships in a variety of locations. Hft’s role is as the Supported Employment provider.

If you become an intern on one of our programmes, our Employability Coaches will support you to learn new skills while you are on your work placements. After you graduate, Hft will continue to work with you for a further nine months to help you search and apply for a paid job, and will provide follow-on support when you find a paid job for as long as you need this.



For the 19-20 Academic Year, 69% of graduates from Hft’s DFN Project SEARCH Programmes found paid employment. Over 90% of graduates stay in their jobs for at least six months.

Our programmes

Each programme is run by a partnership, with a Supported Employment provider (Hft), an Education provider (a school or college), and a Host Business, as well as DFN Project SEARCH.

Hft currently works with programmes in:

  • Preston, Lancashire
  • Bradford, West Yorkshire (two programmes)
  • Wakefield, West Yorkshire
  • Pontefract, West Yorkshire
  • South Ribble, Lancashire
  • Liverpool, Merseyside (two programmes)
  • Flintshire, Wales
  • Caerphilly/Bridgend, Wales

How to become a Project SEARCH Intern

Eligibility criteria for Project SEARCH varies with each partnership. If you would like to find out about this in your area, including how to apply, please contact ProjectSearch.Admin@hft.org.uk

Follow-on support

What is Follow-on support?

If you are eligible for Follow-on support, you can expect to have a dedicated Hft Employability Coach and be able to attend a Job Club. Your Employability Coach will work with you to complete a Vocational Profile and your CV, and keep these up to date. They will help you to put together a plan to find paid employment, and they will support you  to search for and apply for jobs, as well as prepare for and attend interviews. When you find a job, your Employability Coach can also provide support on the job to help you to get settled in, complete relevant training, and do your job to a high standard. This can include working with you and your employer to make reasonable adjustments to your role, and using adaptations.

How to get Follow-on support

If you are a recent graduate of one of Hft’s DFN Project SEARCH programmes and would like Follow On support, you are eligible for this for up to 9 months after graduation.

If you have not taken part in one of Hft’s DFN Project SEARCH programmes, but have a learning disability and/or autism spectrum condition, have a job and would like Follow On support, you may be eligible for this depending upon your location. Please contact us and we can discuss this further with you.

Follow On Employability Coach leaflet for people we support

Hft Job Club leaflet for people we support


This varies from one partnership to another. Get in touch with us at Hft and we will put you in touch with the Employability Coach/tutor at your local programme who can explain how to be involved.
o DFN Project SEARCH programmes run over an academic year, and follow the education partner’s (college) term dates
o DFN Project SEARCH runs 5 days a week during term time
o Hft continue to support you to find paid employment up to nine months following graduation, and in employment for as long as is required
o Getting meaningful work experience in a large host business, in three job roles over the course of the year
o Developing new skills that will help you to get more employment opportunities in your local area
o On the job support from an Employability Coach
o Completing a curriculum in Employability Skills delivered by a tutor
o Having a bespoke employment plan to help you progress towards your employment goals
o Graduates of DFN Project SEARCH programmes have excellent employment outcomes
o Access to Follow-on support on graduation

Information for Employers

As well as providing support to interns and graduates of our DFN Project SEARCH programmes, Hft also can provide support to you as an employer. Find out more about how you can help provide supported employment for people with a learning disability, or autism.

Information for Employers

Contact details

Email the team at: ProjectSearch.Admin@hft.org.uk

Information for parents/carers of applicants/interns/graduates

Hft understand that preparing for and moving into paid employment involves a lot of change. Alongside our Family Carer Support Service, we have put together from FAQs from parents and carers. Any further questions, please speak to your local Employability Coach or contact us on ProjectSearch.Admin@hft.org.uk

FAQs for Supported Employment