GERALDINE Howley, Chair of the GEM Programme and Group Chief Executive of Bradford-based Incommunities Group, has announced affordable housing provider Riverside as new partners of the GEM Programme.

The GEM Team will work in collaboration with Riverside to fill six places on this unique career building programme. Four places will be linked to newly created roles within Riverside and two will be based in existing positions in the organisation.

Mrs Howley said “We are delighted to welcome Riverside as a leading national player in the housing sector and we are proud to be helping them deliver their new talent strategy. Of importance to our partnership is the promotion of diversity and inclusion in Riverside and the housing sector more generally. Riverside are encouraging colleagues from BAME backgrounds to join the GEM Programme.

"It will be a key part of Riverside’s talent strategy and will boost diversity and encourage a culture of everyday innovation.”

Successful applicants will be recruited internally and externally and take part in the challenging twelve-month GEM Programme.

The stretching roles the GEMs will take on have been designed at graduate level and take a progressive approach to homelessness, assets, business information and health and safety. All GEMs chosen to participate in the programme will demonstrate the values, behaviours and leadership potential required by Riverside’s innovative talent strategy.

The GEM programme was launched in 2009 in West Yorkshire and has since greatly expanded to attract recruits from across England, Scotland, Northern Ireland and internationally from Canada, and most recently from Australia.The GEM Programme also has exchange arrangements in place with partners in Hong Kong and Holland.

Over the last decade, 300 GEMs have secured prestigious jobs – and 95 per cent of GEMs are offered employment contacts by their partner organisations at the end of the GEM programme. 100 per cent of GEMs achieve Chartered Institute of Housing qualification.