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GEM News Archive

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Some fantastic local employers have recently received the GEM Exemplar Employer Award, but do you know what it takes to be awarded one, and why it's so critically important to the employment market?

GEM Project Opportunity Hunters Sue Guilding and Tony Solomon explain...


What is a GEM Exemplar Employer?

"In a nutshell, a GEM Exemplar Employer is an organisation which believes that every person should have the opportunity to engage in meaningful work.  An Exemplar Employer will “go the extra mile” by providing opportunities for those who are finding it difficult to enter, or re-enter, the world of work. 

Opportunities offered by our Exemplar Employers include; mock interviews, information events, work experience, site visits, work trials, NVQ training, volunteering and jobs.

Many employers are recognising and realising the positive benefits of having a diverse and inclusive workforce. Rae Hunt, Manager of Hubble Bubble Cafe said: 

“By making a simple adjustment to our training process – including using clear checklists and straightforward wording with Phoebe (who has high functioning Autism and was struggling to find employment despite her qualifications) – we have gained a very valuable member of the team. Phoebe is never late, she works consistently hard with exacting standards and is meticulous in her presentation.  We also gave Phoebe a work trial at the start and could instantly see she would be great for the job.  She performed really well in the interview but the work trial really showed us what she was capable of.”


How are we doing?

To date almost 40 organisations have been awarded “Exemplar Employer” status. The types of organisations which have achieved this accolade include small independents such as Spider Creative and Hubble Bubble Café, to large nationals like the Environment Agency and British Computer Society. We have also awarded certificates to a number of GEM partners including CCP, The Churn Project, and GL11, to name a few.


Our Vision for the future...

We view our Exemplar Employers as a very special and exclusive club – a distinct group of organisations who recognise the value of providing constructive opportunities, which enhance employability and life skills, as well as creating a positive impact on their community. They definitely view it as so much more than a tick in their CSR box!

We plan to hold Exemplar Employer events in the final year of the project, to support these organisations and to offer them the opportunity to meet other employers with a similar ethos and outlook.

Our aim is to have over 100 Exemplar Employers in Gloucestershire by the end of the three year project.

This will help to create sustainability beyond the life of the GEM Project. It will provide a legacy in Gloucestershire of a network of like minded organisations, who are able to champion Diversity and Inclusion in the workplace."

Find out more about how your organisation could become an Exemplar Employer and read about how other organisations have achieved this award.

How to be an Exemplar Employer

by Becky Boseley