Bradford’s biggest social landlord Incommunities is backing the Telegraph & Argus Foundation For Jobs campaign and continuing to build up its own employment programme helping graduates build exciting careers in housing.

The training programme has already helped 41 Bradford and West Yorkshire graduates on to the housing career ladder since it started in 2009.

The Graduate Employment Mentoring (GEM) programme is run by the Centre For Partnership, which is a venture between Incommunities and consultants Sutton Smith, and 85 per cent of its graduates are getting jobs.

Now on its fifth intake, 18 students are on the latest course involving 12-month placements with partners from West and South Yorkshire, North East England and the Heart of England.

The GEM students study at residential academies based at the University of Bradford’s School of Management and each of them is given the opportunity to gain a professional qualification accredited by the Chartered Institute of Housing.

The search is now on to recruit graduates to the Autumn 2013 programme – recruiters are also looking for partner organisations who are able to provide high-quality internships.

A ground-breaking project involving Tong High School is also being developed to pilot a ‘junior’ GEM programme for ‘A’ level students as an alternative career path to going to university.

Incommunities Group Chief Executive Geraldine Howley, said: “The GEM Programme has put Bradford on the map among graduate job seekers and partners both nationally and internationally.”

She added: “The T&A new Foundation For Jobs campaign to get more people into work is a terrific initiative and as the ‘Job Creator of the Year 2013’ Incommunities is fully behind it through initiatives such as the GEM programme.”

Former teacher Thomas Sutton, who completed the GEM programme in 2012 and is now employed by Incommunities’ Income Team said: “The GEM programme has opened my eyes to a sector that provides opportunities to be ambitious and innovative. It has helped me secure employment with the district’s leading social housing group, which is quality.”

Sekai Chideme joined the GEM programme in 2012, she is now employed as a quantity surveyor with Family Mosaic Housing Association in London.

The T&A’s Foundation For Jobs campaign was launched earlier this month bringing the issue of unemployment – and, more importantly, employment – to the fore by working with key industry, private sector and public sector organisations and individuals to find ways to create new hope for the future.