Claire Cookson has been appointed as the new CEO of DFN Project SEARCH

Claire Cookson has been appointed as the new CEO of DFN Project SEARCH.

Claire replaces Maura Lynch and will be responsible for executing DFN Project SEARCH’s long-term strategic goal of getting thousands of young adults with learning difficulties and autism into full-time paid jobs.

Claire is currently the CEO of the DFN Charitable Foundation and has been working alongside DFN Project SEARCH colleagues for some time.

She will continue to lead the Foundation’s other education and transition to employment programme, DFN MoveForward.

Claire comments: “It is a real privilege to be given the opportunity to shape and lead DFN Project SEARCH. Everyone deserves the right to aspire to the very best future – yet nationally only 5.9 per cent of people with special educational needs and disabilities (SEND) go on to secure full-time paid employment.

“Through this incredible transition to employment programme, DFN Project SEARCH supports at least 60 per cent of its interns into full-time paid employment.

“I am delighted to be able to work with the team to realise our vision and ambition; to grow our provision and eradicate the postcode lottery to ensure that learners with SEND can access a high-quality Supported Internship in their local area.

“Our job now is to work with other aspirational providers, educators and local and national Government to give these talented young people hope and the chance to fulfil their potential.”