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The GEM Project has now launched its new GEM Exemplar Employer Initiative, awarding Stratstone Land Rover in Cheltenham the first of these accolades.

A GEM Exemplar Employer is an organisation that believes every person should have an opportunity to engage in meaningful work and goes the extra mile by providing an opportunity for people who are finding it difficult to enter or re-enter the world of work. This GEM Exemplar Employer award recognises an organisation’s commitment to the value of providing effective opportunities.

Tony Solomon, Opportunity Hunter for the GEM Project comments; “This is definitely an exciting time for the GEM Project; we are really keen for organisations to lead by example and be a part of something great in building a better community and business environment in Gloucestershire.

The Exemplar Employer Initiative creates the opportunity for employers to access a significant pool of talent which can ultimately improve business performance and bottom line results.

It’s really straightforward for businesses to be a part of this scheme, by simply providing an opportunity to one of our GEM individuals, anything from work experience to full or part time employment.”

Recently, one of the GEM Project’s individuals undertook a placement at Stratstone Land Rover in Cheltenham, supporting the Sales Executives with the photography required for each vehicle.

Stuart Curtis, Sales Manager at Stratstone Land Rover Cheltenham, comments; “Since Alex has been working with us, productivity has significantly increased, which has resulted in a higher number of vehicle sales and we’re now looking at offering him a full time position.

Without a doubt, I would recommend the GEM Project to any organisation. The entire process has been extremely smooth running, there has been brilliant communication with Reg Cobb, Alex’s Navigator Developer from Gloucestershire Deaf Association, and it’s enabled us to tap into a talented work force that we were previously unaware of, creating a solution which supports and suits both parties.

I feel we have built a great partnership and I’m really excited to see where this will lead moving forward.”

For more information about the project and Exemplar Employer Initiative, please contact Tony Solomon on 07387 100970 or

Our GEM Exemplar Employer Initiative has now launched

by Nikki Davies

With the number of individuals that we are supporting on the GEM Project in Gloucestershire growing, we are now also looking to recruit a GEM Apprentice Administrator. This individual will need to be enthusiastic, who is keen to learn and passionate about helping other people.

As part of this project, every three months we submit a report to our funders; The Big Lottery Fund and The European Social Fund, gathering information about how we are spending the money and are supporting people.

Therefore, we are looking for someone to provide administrative support to help this happen effectively. This will include the whole range of office duties, using Microsoft Word and Excel in particular on a daily basis.

You will be helping to answer the phone to take queries from our partner organisations or referrals from people who want to join the GEM Project.

For further details and a full job description, please click here

The closing date for this position is Tuesday 18th July.

The GEM Team is looking for an Apprentice

by Nikki Davies

Recently six GEM participants took part in a morning of mock interviews at the Waitrose store in Cheltenham.

The GEM Project had participants from a range of organisations, including the Stroud Valleys Project, National Star College, Open House, Gloucestershire Deaf Association and GARAS.

The morning mirrored the usual JLP interview process, with an application form being submitted in advance and then an individual interview as well as a group task. The activities were made as realistic as possible and, although there were no actual jobs available, all of the individuals reported that they found it to be an extremely useful process, with each person taking away something beneficial from the morning.

The GEM Opportunity Hunters were then able to provide detailed feedback to each Navigator Developer, so that they knew what they needed to work on with their individual moving forward, to enable them to make an even better impression in the future. This should now stand them in good stead when they have a “real” interview.

The GEM Team would like to thank Richard Martin, Partner Co-Ordination Manager at Waitrose, for his time, energy and enthusiasm in running the event and he has agreed to repeat the process in the Autumn. We will be announcing dates shortly, so if you think you would benefit from this opportunity and would like some extra support, contact the GEM team now to see if you’re eligible for the GEM Project.

Waitrose supports our GEM's with their interview techniques

by Nikki Davies

A number of GEM individuals have recently been able to experience a dry-stone walling taster day on Leckhampton Hill as part of their personalised GEM journey.

Each individual who took part was able to gain practical experience of the traditional skill of dry stone walling; learning how to select, dress and shape the stone, along with the technique needed to lay stone into the wall.

Not only this, it enabled a contribution to be made towards repairing an existing dry-stone wall in the Cotswolds, supporting the work carried out by the Cotswold Conservation Board.

The Cotswold Conservation Board is the organisation which exists to enhance and conserve the Cotswolds Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty and provided an experienced instructor as well as all the tools and equipment needed for the day.

Sam Henson, Navigator Developer for CCP and the leader behind this event, incorporated this taster experience into GEM activities, after being approached by Wayne Sedgwick, Cheltenham Borough Councils Senior Community Ranger with a proposed idea. He was interested in restoring a wall on the Cotswold Way, whilst creating an opportunity for the long term unemployed.

Sam comments: “The GEM project is always looking for unique opportunities that help break down the barriers to employment. For most of the GEM individuals interested in this taster day, it would be the first time they have even considered the trade and its potential in terms of employment and self-employment. However, thanks to the Cotswold Conservation Board, Cheltenham Borough Council, The Cotswold Voluntary Wardens and the GEM Project; these individuals were able to try their hand at highly demanded trade and indulge in the life of a drystone waller”.

Following on from this taster day, the individuals have all shown a strong interest to complete their Level 1 qualification in this trade, which is already in discussion with the tutor and Conservation Board.

GEM’s become a “stone throw” closer towards finding work whilst supporting the local countryside

by Nikki Davies

We have a great job opportunity for someone to join the GEM Project Management Team as a Quality Manager.


Gloucestershire County Council and over 70 voluntary community social enterprise (VCSE), public and private sector partners from across the county have joined together and won £3.2million funding to help the county’s most vulnerable adults into work, training or education; the project is jointly funded by the Big Lottery Fund and the European Social Fund.

This exciting new project, known as The Gloucestershire GEM (Going the Extra Mile) Project, will engage with 1,100 people over three years. It began in October 2016 and will focus on people who face challenges in getting into work, and support them to move closer towards education, training, volunteering or employment.

The GEM Project is managed by Gloucestershire Gateway Trust (GGT) on behalf of Gloucestershire County Council. The project will be delivered by GEM Delivery Partners of whom 28 have employed ‘Navigator Developers’ who are already directly supporting over 300 people to engage with education, training, volunteering and employment.

GEM Quality Manager full time

Location: Head office in Gloucester but role across Gloucestershire

Salary: £25,000 per annum

The successful candidate will work alongside the 28 Navigator Developers on three themes:

  • Quality – Lead the implementation of quality assurance and management standards, assessing the quality of provision, observing practice and providing support and development to Navigator Developers. Encouraging the ongoing continual professional development of the team and maximising the quality of provision to GEM participants.
  • Support – Working with Navigator Developers to support them in aspects of their delivery as required and organising local cluster groups to foster closer working relationships and joint activities.
  • Delivery – You will be expected to engage directly with participants, at times carrying a very small caseload, for example when working alongside Delivery Partner Extra Mile Fund projects or to manage fluctuations in demand.

Key Personal Attributes

  • Excellent written and verbal communication;
  • A commitment to accuracy, quality and delivering high standards;
  • Ability to think strategically;
  • Strong relationship management skills;
  • Empathy with GEM participants;
  • Strong negotiator and team player;
  • Achieves outcomes;
  • The ability to travel across Gloucestershire.

Relevant Experience and Qualifications

  • Experience of delivering advice and mentoring to vulnerable or disengaged people;
  • Understanding of the requirements of Big Lottery Fund and ESF funded partnership programmes desirable;
  • Careers Information, Advice and Guidance qualification or equivalent desirable;
  • Developing and implementing quality management systems;
  • Knowledge of provision and support networks across Gloucestershire;
  • Good IT skills.

This role is for a Fixed Term Contract period until 30th September 2019. Job share and secondment enquiries are welcome.

To apply email for an application form.

The closing date for applications is 9am Monday 26th June.

The GEM Team is recruiting!

by Nikki Davies

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