A ground breaking graduate employment programme, supported by Incommunities, has successfully been re-accredited in the 2015 Responsible Business Awards for its success in building careers in housing.
The Graduate Employment Mentoring (GEM) programme is a 12 month learning programme which also includes paid traineeships. The training is accredited by the Chartered Institute of Housing (CIH).
The programme has been developed by The Centre for Partnership – part of Incommunities – and since 2009 it has grown from being a West Yorkshire-based programme to a national one involving over 30 housing associations across the country.
In 2013 it expanded to offer a Junior GEM programme to sixth-form students from Bradford and combines classroom-based learning and work shadowing.
The Responsible Business Awards are run by Business in the Community and are the most prestigious and respected awards championing responsible business in the UK. It celebrates inspirational companies that are taking action to address social and environmental issues and transforming their communities.
Every year, as part of the Responsible Business Awards, Business in the Community ‘reaccredits’ a number of companies who are able to demonstrate the continual positive impact of their programme. The GEM programme is accredited in the ‘Inspiring Young Talent’ award category and follows its recognition in 2014.
Since then, the Centre for Partnership has signed a formal agreement with the Chartered Institute of Housing to further develop the programme which will give students the opportunity to achieve chartered status qualifications. A second Junior GEM programme is also underway.
Geraldine Howley, Incommunities Group Chief Executive said: “We are delighted to have secured re-accreditation through Business in the Community.
“This award reflects the fantastic success of the programme in providing rewarding career opportunities for graduates and local sixth form students. Over the past six years nearly 100 graduates have been trained with 94% securing jobs.
“Our recent partnership with the CIH opens up exciting possibilities to further expand the programme including developing its international presence.”
Trevor Smith, Director of the Centre for Partnership, said: “The GEM programme has a proven track record in creating a pipeline of talented young people who are keen to build careers in housing.
“This national recognition from Business in the Community is a terrific endorsement of our programme and the unique opportunity it gives young people to attain an ‘escalator’ qualification and ultimately a ‘debt free’ business focused degree.”
“Working with the CIH, our ambition is to see many more talented graduates and students turn into ‘GEMs’.”
Stephen Howard, Chief Executive, Business in the Community said “The Responsible Business Awards celebrate the very best of business and raise awareness of business as a powerful force for good.
“We congratulate Incommunities and The Centre for Partnership for playing their part in creating a fairer society and more sustainable future and demonstrating that business has a greater purpose than simply generating profit.”
Today’s announcement coincides with Responsible Business Week (20-26 April 2015), an annual initiative to increase awareness of the positive contribution made by businesses in society.
For further information about the Responsible Business Awards and the list of reaccredited companies go to http://www.bitc.org.uk/