Geraldine Howley has announced Riverside as new partners of the GEM Programme.
The GEM team will work in collaboration with Riverside to fill six places on a “unique” career-building programme, four of which will be linked to newly created roles within Riverside, with the remaining two based in existing positions in the organisation.
Howley, chair of the GEM Programme and group chief executive of the West Yorkshire-based Incommunities Group, 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.
Howley said: “The GEM Programme provides a unique vehicle for the recruitment and development of Riverside’s ‘future leaders’.
“It’s gratifying to play an important part in future proofing their organisation and grow the housing professionals and leaders of the future.”
Maxine Cousens, director of People and Culture at Riverside, said: “We’re delighted to be working with GEM on launching our first graduate development programme in many years.
“There will be a total of six roles available, some of which are available to external and internal candidates and some of which are specifically to develop our own internal BAME talent.
“We hope the programme will help to develop and diversify our already fantastic Riverside team.”
Riverside is a provider of affordable housing, care, and support services in England and Scotland, owning almost 56,000 homes.
The GEM programme launched in 2009 in West Yorkshire and has since expanded to include recruits from across England, Scotland, Northern Ireland, and from overseas – including Canada and 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% of GEMs are offered employment contacts by their partner organisations at the end of the GEM programme.
100% of GEMs achieve a Chartered Institute of Housing qualification.
Partner organisations represented by GEMs on the current programme include Incommunities, Homes England, the Wheatley Group, United Living, the Northern Ireland Housing Executive, and Hume Housing (Australia).