Double boost for Norwich For Jobs

PUBLISHED: 07:54 04 May 2014

Chloe Smith: welcomes apprenticeship measures

Chloe Smith: welcomes apprenticeship measures

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Campaigners seeking to drive down unemployment in Norwich have received a double boost.

Latest figures reveal Norwich For Jobs is firmly on course to hit its two year target of finding 1,000 paid work opportunities for young people.

And in the same week, the campaign’s architect, city MP Chloe Smith, has been shortlisted for a ‘grassroot diplomat’ award for her work in leading the campaign.

New Norwich For Jobs’ statistics show that 580 young people have entered employment directly as a result of the Archant-backed project since its launch at the end of January last year; a further 104 18 to 26-year-olds have been helped into apprenticeships.

It was announced at the campaign’s half-way celebration event at The Forum earlier this year that the number of employers supporting Norwich For Jobs has passed 100.

The project’s simple formula is to encourage local businesses to invest in young people, connect job seekers with opportunities to gain skills and employment and focus the collective efforts of the whole community.

Its success has led to other places, including Tower Hamlets in London and Ipswich, to emulate the networking model and even resulted in a fact-finding trip to Norwich by a group of Tanzanian MPs.

Miss Smith has been shortlisted out of 70 candidates for the second Grassroot Diplomat Initiative

Award, which recognises UK-based politicians and diplomats who are representing civilian interests at the

highest level.

She said of the campaign: “This is not just about the numbers. Through the innovation of our young persons panel and our employers panel, we are getting employers to work more closely with jobseekers to find ways of offering support for those struggling to gain employment.”

She said the young persons panel had been an important driver in making the campaign a success. enabling the young job seekers to keep it on track through peer-to-peer assessment of their personal situation.

Talyn Rahman-Figueroa, director of Grassroot Diplomat - a non-profit diplomatic consultancy that aims to bridge the gap between civil society and political leaders - said: “The award illustrates that we do

have government representatives that actively work on meeting the people’s needs and we must

focus on bringing more positive role models into society and diminish negative news - that is the

grassroot diplomacy way.”

Miss Smith will learn whether she has won at an awards ceremony at The Mayfair Hotel, London on May 15.

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