One of the GEM Project's Navigator Developer's Ione explains her role and how this programme can help support people across Gloucestershire who are looking to get back into work.
The GEM Project aims to engage with and support individuals within Gloucestershire who are currently dealing with circumstances that are potentially causing barriers to work and move these people closer towards education, training, volunteering or work, including self-employment.
This programme is a unique and unprecedented partnership of community based organisations, managed by Gloucestershire Gateway Trust on behalf of Gloucestershire County Council. Each partner has committed to work collaboratively to help individuals with any needs or requirements to overcome any barriers they may have and effectively improve their lives.
The GEM Project will reconnect people with their local services through their communities and ultimately help them achieve their desired outcome, whether through a working or educational related route. This programme understands that everyone is unique, with different needs and requirements, impacting on their step into the world of employment, education or training.
Therefore, this project provides dedicated and specialised help, guidance and support, for each individual enrolled on the project, from transport and childcare costs to support with any disabilities and mental health issues. They will develop life skills, self-esteem and motivation, whilst overcoming any practical barriers to engagement.
With this enhanced level of support, individuals will have access to a wide range of options from confidence building, advice with job searching and interview practice, to opportunities for increasing skills and qualifications, or accessing training and work experience opportunities. The GEM Project offers tailored programmes to every individual through a personalised action plan.
The GEM Project is jointly funded by the Big Lottery Fund and European Social Fund.
Gloucestershire Gateway Trust manages the GEM Project on a day-to-day basis across Gloucestershire, on behalf of the GEM Partnership, including Gloucestershire County Council, the Accountable Body.
The Trust, which is celebrating its 10th Anniversary, is also part of a unique partnership between local communities and the M5 Gloucester Services business. The idea of creating a motorway services which would not only create local jobs but provide a sustainable income to help local communities thrive, first came to Mark Gale, chief executive of the Trust, in 1994.
“We had 28 million vehicles a year carrying over 40 million people into Gloucestershire at one end and going out the other on the M5. No-one in the communities it passed by got any benefit; it was just seen as a problem bringing pollution, congestion and noise,” says Mark. Now, twenty years later, Mark’s vision has become a reality and the Gloucester Services has turned the M5 into an asset for the communities it passes through. Over the next 20 years, the Gloucestershire Gateway Trust will plough an estimated £10m income generated by the new Services into sustainable community projects through its local charity partners including:
The Trust is also working to encourage people living near the motorway to find jobs at the Services and supporting free pre-employment training for local people to give them a better chance of getting a job. It is also backing ‘spin off’ community enterprise initiatives that support residents in taking up employment opportunities. For more information about Gloucestershire Gateway Trust, click here.
The GEM Project is a unique and unprecedented partnership of over 50 Voluntary and Community Sector Enterprise (VCSE) and other organisations in Gloucestershire.
Each partner has committed to work collaboratively to help individuals with any needs or requirements to overcome any barriers they may have and effectively improve their lives.