Futures believes in investing in people and developing our own talent. As part of this we've run a graduate employment scheme in partnership with the GEM programme since 2019. GEM is a leading scheme for graduates wanting to kick start their careers in the housing world. Over two years, participants get real-life work experience with Futures backed up by a broad learning and development programme.
Don't just take our word for it that we offer graduates great opportunities. Read on to hear what recent Futures recruit Steph Quinn has to say about joining us after university.
After graduating university, you have so many different options to consider… A graduate programme was always my first choice as they open so many opportunities to learn, develop professionally and personally and meet like-minded people.
After graduating in Environmental Science from Sheffield Hallam University in 2020, I knew I wanted to find a role where I could help people and the planet, but I didn’t have a clear career path in mind. I started working as a healthcare assistant for a local mental health hospital after university, which was a real eye-opener. Despite the challenges of working in care during the pandemic, I found it very rewarding helping young people gain independence. This experience also solidified my own values and beliefs: that everyone has a right to healthcare and a place to call home.
The opportunity to join Futures’ Graduate Scheme in a new role which combined low carbon, energy and sustainability projects caught my attention! I was also intrigued by the GEM Programme (see below) and the opportunity to continue my learning as a graduate. I’ve always been interested in the relationship between people and place, yet I never thought about a career in social housing! I remember researching Futures, the GEM Programme and the housing crisis. I could sense the passion and determination from the people in the sector, and I knew I wanted to be a part of it!
The GEM Programme
The GEM Programme unites housing professionals at the start of their careers and those with more experience through the Talent in House route. The programme helps to shape a wider view of the housing sector beyond my role, through the CIH qualification and diverse ‘GEM Shack’ events. The first GEM Shack on homelessness was really moving, and it has inspired GEMs to create meaningful ways to help tackle homelessness through the David Tovey Challenge.
I’m particularly excited for the 21st Century Sustainable Communities GEM Shack later this year and I’m hopeful that I can meet my fellow GEMs in person. The CIH Level 4 Certificate in Housing is developing my knowledge in housing law, policy and finance, buildings, communities and environment, equality and diversity and housing professionalism. On the other hand, I am building my network and developing my leadership skills through collaborative workshops with other GEMs and our Dutch colleagues.
My role at Futures
As a new role to the organisation, there is lots of scope to shape my workstream which is really exciting! Part of the role involves researching new sustainable technologies and approaches and evaluating their suitability for Futures. As sustainability spans the entire business, I am excited to collaborate with more people to deliver a sustainability strategy that is purposeful to Futures customers, colleagues and communities.
Since joining Futures, I have felt continuously trusted and supported. I have been pleasantly surprised at the level of responsibility within my role and I am excited to work on varied projects. Everyone I have met so far has been kind and welcoming! I feel very fortunate to be part of an ambitious organisation that trusts it employees, empowers its customers and cares about its communities.