From Homeless to Head Office

 · Posted in News

Graduate chosen as part of national contractor United Living’s new recruitment scheme

A digital film production graduate from Peckham, who left home as a teenager and found herself homeless is one of only five people in the country to have been accepted onto a new national employment scheme with a UK-wide contractor.

Cynthia Ijiekhaumhen, who now lives in Lewisham, has been appointed by United Living to work in its head office in Swanley as part of the Graduate Recruitment Training (GEM) scheme on a new two-year programme.

Cynthia aged 24, who studied at the University of Ravensbourne worked hard to overcome both financial difficulties and support her younger siblings. Through her hard work, commitment and determination, Cynthia was able to juggle managing the role of guardian to her siblings as well as working part time and studying to achieve a 2:1 grade.

Together with Edwin Lockerbie, aged 21 and Amir Zadeh, aged 32, Cynthia has started a full-time position with United Living as part of the programme designed to give graduates high quality management and leadership training, with one to one mentor support.

She said that she feels fortunate to be working for United Living and believes her new position within the team is one of the reasons for receiving a recent Breakthrough Award at Kensington Palace, from Centre Point, a charity that works with homeless people.

She said “Working for United Living so far has been a great experience; I’m excited for what the future holds and look forward to becoming an integral member of the team here. The recent award was recognition for overcoming a difficult situation and progressing in my career, which makes me incredibly proud. It means a lot to have been employed by United Living and I plan to work hard in order to develop into a future leader”.

Edwin Lockerbie is a Geography graduate from the University of Bangor. He said he hopes the scheme will allow him to identify both his strengths and weaknesses, whilst undertaking a professional role with real responsibility.

Amir Zadeh is a Masters Project Management for Construction graduate from the University of Brighton. He said he feels he is working for a company that will provide the opportunity and assistance in allowing him to achieve his dreams and goals, something he feels fortunate to have been able to do.

The trio’s new appointment will enable them to gain hands on experience with the team in Swanley, moving around different areas of the business, learning new skills and working towards their Level 4 qualification.

Anne Newman, United Living Group’s people services director said, “We are really excited to be working with the GEM Programme to help recruit our graduates and thus develop a pipeline of leaders to future-proof our strategy of growth to 2020 and beyond.”

“Cynthia, Edwin and Amir are three of five GEM graduates to join United Living as part of the nationwide programme. All graduates will be given an overall knowledge of the business and have the opportunity to learn comprehensively about estate regeneration, quantity surveying and environmental improvements, particularly within the social housing sector.”

If you are interested in working for United Living, please click here to see the available opportunities;

To join one of the GEM programmes, please visit this website;

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