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Award for deaf-friendly employer

Award for deaf-friendly employer through GEM Project initiative

The GEM (Going the Extra Mile) Project has launched its new GEM Exemplar Employer Initiative, awarding Stratstone Land Rover in Cheltenham the first of these accolades.

The GEM Project, an employment support project funded by the Big Lottery Fund and the European Social Fund, will be awarding Exemplar Employer status to organisations dedicated to providing opportunities of meaningful employment for people finding it difficult to enter the world of work, including those with hearing loss. These businesses will be promoted to GEM individuals, and can use the status to demonstrate their company ethics.

Tony Solomon, Opportunity Hunter for the GEM Project comments; “This is definitely an exciting time for the GEM Project; we are really keen for organisations to lead by example and be a part of something great in building a better community and business environment in Gloucestershire. It’s really straightforward for businesses to be a part of this scheme, by simply providing an opportunity to one of our GEM individuals, anything from work experience to full or part time employment.

GEM Project individuals are already achieving results. Alex Carr, who is deaf, is completing a placement at Stratstone Land Rover in Cheltenham, supporting the Sales Executives with the photography required for each vehicle. Sales Manager Stuart Curtis, comments; “Since Alex has been working with us, productivity and vehicle sales have increased, and we’re now looking at offering him a full time position. 

Without a doubt, I would recommend the GEM Project to any organisation. The entire process has been extremely smooth running, there has been brilliant communication with Reg Cobb, Alex’s Navigator Developer from Gloucestershire Deaf Association, and it’s enabled us to tap into a talented work force that we were previously unaware of, creating a solution which supports and suits both parties.

 I feel we have built a great partnership and I’m really excited to see where this will lead moving forward.

The GEM Project has been awarded almost £3.2 million from the Big Lottery Fund and European Social Fund to support people in Gloucestershire who are unemployed to move closer towards, or into employment.

The project is a partnership of over 50 community based organisations, managed by Gloucestershire Gateway Trust on behalf of Gloucestershire County Council.

For more information about the project and Exemplar Employer Initiative, please contact Tony Solomon on 07387 100970 or gemtony@ggtrust.org


Notes to editors 
  • The GEM Project is managed on behalf of Gloucestershire County Council by Gloucestershire Gateway Trust (GGT). For more information about the GEM Project visit www.glosgem.org
  • The Big Lottery Fund is the largest funder of community activity in the UK. It puts people in the lead to improve their lives and communities, often through small local projects. It is responsible for giving out 40% of the money raised by National Lottery players for good causes.
  • Last year it awarded £583 million and supported around 12,000 grants across the UK for health, education, environment and charitable purposes. Since June 2004 it has awarded over £8 billion to projects that change the lives of millions of people. 
  • The BBO project has received up to £300 million of funding from the Big Lottery Fund and the European Social Fund as part of the 2014-2020 European Structural and Investment Funds Growth Programme in England. The Department for Work and Pensions is the Managing Authority for the England European Social Fund programme. Established by the European Union, the European Social Fund helps local areas stimulate their economic development by investing in projects which will support skills development, employment and job creation, social inclusion and local community regenerations. For more information visit https://www.gov.uk/european-growth-funding.
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