The GEM Project

Gloucestershire Gateway Trust

The GEM Project was an employment and social inclusion programme with the core aim of supporting individuals experiencing barriers to employment and move them closer towards or into work, education or training.

It successfully established a unique partnership of over 30 VCSE organisations working collaboratively across Gloucestershire, providing tailored one-to-one support to ultimately improve participants’ lives. The GEM Project exceeded its targets to reach people from certain communities such as ethnic minorities, people over 50, lone parents, ex-offenders and those with disabilities or health conditions, among others. Over six years the programme supported just over 2,000 people, with 800 of those securing employment and 420 people reaching an educational outcome. These results exceeded the project’s targets by 20%. The programme also had a vital focus on inspiring and supporting businesses across the county to be more inclusive employers, by demonstrating the benefits of a diverse workforce and providing practical advice and insight to make it achievable, as well as securing opportunities for participants. The Inclusivity Works initiative will be a legacy of the GEM Project, with a new network of 40 awarded (and growing) Inclusive Employers within Gloucestershire, each demonstrating a commitment to inclusivity, and sharing and supporting other businesses.