A new hospital-based initiative is starting in Bradford to help young people with learning disabilities into work.

Project SEARCH is being run in partnership with Bradford Teaching Hospitals, Southfield School in Little Horton and Hft, a national charity supporting adults with learning disabilities, and Bradford Council.

It is offering one-year internships to 13 young people with learning disabilities.

The idea, originally tried at a hospital in America, is to give them the skills they need to find work in the future.

The Bradford interns will be based at Bradford Royal Infirmary and get five hours’ hands-on work experience and two hours’ teaching every day, supported by a job coach and teacher.

The interns, aged 18 to 22, will be placed in departments throughout the hospital.

Matthew Metcalfe, 19, of Low Moor, Bradford, will be working as a deputy housekeeper in the BRI’s Accident and Emergency department. He said: “I wanted to come to work at the hospital to help me get a full-time job. I have some experience as a volunteer over the years but have not had paid work yet.”

The scheme will extended to St Luke’s Hospital by January.