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Marriott London Twickenham hosted a pinning ceremony for the new cohort of students enrolled in their supported internship programme for young adults with learning disabilities.

The ceremony celebrated the start of their first internship, where they will gain practical experience while learning employability skills.

West Thames College, Marriott London Twickenham, and DFN Project SEARCH partner to offer work-based learning opportunities for young people with learning disabilities and/or autism, empowering them to secure competitive employment.

The DFN Project SEARCH programme operates through a collaborative approach, involving partnerships with various sectors including public, private, and voluntary. The involvement of these different sectors allows for a diverse range of internship opportunities and ensures that students are exposed to various working environments.

By collaborating with employers, educational institutions, local authorities, and other organizations, the programme can provide students with a holistic and comprehensive support system, ultimately contributing to the success of the programme. 

The pinning ceremony marks the continuation of the programme's mission to promote inclusion and provide equal opportunities in the workforce for young adults with learning disabilities and autism.

During the ceremony, the students shared their excitement and gratitude for the opportunity to participate in the programme and gain valuable experience.

"I am so excited to start my first internship at Marriott London Twickenham," said one student. "I am grateful for this opportunity to learn new skills, meet new people, and gain experience that will help me get a job in the future." Student Reanna De Los Santos

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Tracy Aust, CEO and Principal of West Thames College: “We are delighted to be continuing another DFN Project SEARCH programme with our fantastic partner – the Marriott, London Twickenham. West Thames have been running DFN Project SEARCH supported internships for 11 years and we have seen first-hand the transformational impact this has had on the lives of so many young people. It’s not just the interns that benefit from these programmes but it’s also the hugely positive impact on the College and the host employer. Here at West Thames, we’ve had the privilege of employing an intern and what a great appointment this has been. We are really excited to be working in partnership with the Marriott on this new venture.”

For more information on how to enrol on the course, please contact Mitsie Butler on This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

About DFN Project SEARCH:

  • DFN Project SEARCH is a business-led, one-year transition to employment programme for young people with a learning disability and autism or both.
  • DFN Project SEARCH believes that everyone deserves the right to aspire to the very best future, yet 4.8% of people with a learning disability who are known to local authorities in England go on to secure full-time paid employment. Its ambition is to ensure that everyone with a learning disability or autism can attain high-quality, integrated employment in their local area.
  • The programme has supported more than 1,600 young people into paid work and has the aim to support 10,000 interns into work by 2030, and 20,000 by 2035.


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