What is Project Search?

Project Search is a supported internship programme delivered in partnership by Ealing Mencap alongside the Hilton Hotel London Heathrow Airport Terminal 5 and West London College, Southall. 

Each year young people with learning disabilities aged between 18-24 years can apply for one of 12 intern places on Project Search. The year-long project is based at the Hilton Hotel London Heathrow Airport Terminal 5 and is designed to develop work-based skills with a view to gaining paid employment at the end of the course.  Project Search has regularly been commended for an excellent track record of supporting interns to find paid employment once they have graduated the year-long course.


What do Interns do on Project Search?

One day per week interns attend College and follow a general educational programme of English, Maths, IT and Life skills. At the Hotel they move each term into a new rotational supported work experience in a variety of the Hotel departments. Such as Front of House, Housekeeping, maintenance, Kitchens, Food and Beverages, porters etc.

There are three dedicated Job coaches from Ealing Mencap and a Tutor from West London College all based at the Hotel who offer intensive, on-the-job support to all of the interns. This helping the interns to both improve upon existing skills and gain new ones that are vital for achieving paid employment in the future.  Interns are fully embedded in the daily working life at the hotel, and are expected to meet the same, exacting standards of customer service as any other member of hotel staff.

Interns are also supported by hotel staff ‘buddies’ who work alongside them in each department, offering their knowledge by acting as mentors and providing an additional level of support and guidance.

The interns’ work experience is underpinned by a training programme delivered through the Hilton Online Worldwide University, an internet-based series of training modules that all Hilton team members are required to complete.


PS thanks HCC 500 HCC Logo 500

Ealing Mencap was recently awarded a grant of £5000 to purchase new laptops for Project Search Hilton T5. We would like to thank Heathrow Community Fund’s ‘Communities for Youth’ for this grant.  Quote from community project spokesman:

“Heathrow Community Fund is part of an independent grant-making charity set up by Heathrow’s owners to support and strengthen local communities close to the airport. In the past two years it has donated more than £1 million through three grant programmes, funding projects which support young people, help protect the environment and support active local communities. Funds come from an annual donation from the airport, fines imposed on aircraft that breach noise limits, Heathrow colleagues who raise funds for us and John Lewis. The fund also supports and encourages Heathrow staff to volunteer and support the local communities where they live”.


If you feel that you would like to apply for this opportunity then contact either:

  • Steve Poole - Employment Consultant and Job Coach at Ealing Mencap – This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
  • Angie Hicks – Supported Internship Coordinator at West London College, Southall – This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.