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Learner receives award for overcoming barriers to finding employment


Leicester College student Nilesh Patel has won Leicester’s Hospitals’ Outstanding Learner Award 2011 after delighting employers at Leicester Royal Infirmary’s post room during a placement, which has led to a paid employment.

The young learner found employment with Serco in the Post Room at the Hospital thanks to the ‘Project Search’ partnership programme involving Leicester College, Remploy, Leicester City Council and University Hospitals of Leicester NHS Trust.

The programme has been developed to offer young people in the city and region with learning disabilities work placement opportunities at the city’s hospitals and council sites.

Leicester College provides educational support for these learners to develop communications, ICT and job searching skills whilst applying for and gaining roles in the workplace with job coaching support which is provided by trained Leicester College tutors and Remploy.

Serco post room assistant, Jenny Cox said: “Nilesh has been a breath of fresh air and a pleasure to work with.  Nilesh’s time has benefited both him and the staff in the post room, we have a better insight of people with Nilesh’s disability and hopefully he has taken a few skills on board as well.”

Along with Nilesh, four others: Thomas Dilkes, Faisal Aziz, Benjamin Ford and Anand Patel have benefited from this project. They all received Certificates for Learning at the UHL awards evening.

Leicester College Continuing Studies Lecturer, Kay Green said: “It has changed Nilesh’s life and opened up opportunities for him to become part of a workforce.  He would not have been able to access these opportunities without the support of Project Search UK. I’m so thrilled he has got this role, Nilesh cannot stop smiling and it is fantastic to see.”

Nilesh said: “I really like and enjoy working.  It felt good to have my first pay slip”.