Jobs drive targets new employers at The Forum

PUBLISHED: 08:00 23 January 2014

Alan Clarke with Heatrae Sadia apprentices Alexander Cooper, left, and Marcus Easter on the Norwich for Jobs scheme. Photo: Bill Smith

Alan Clarke with Heatrae Sadia apprentices Alexander Cooper, left, and Marcus Easter on the Norwich for Jobs scheme. Photo: Bill Smith

Archant © 2013

As Norwich For Jobs prepares to celebrate its first anniversary with an event at The Forum, the drive to cut youth unemployment has gained worldwide attention.

A meeting of the campaign steering group on Friday will be joined by five female MPs from Tanzania who will come to Norwich during a trip to the UK to find out about the initiative launched in January last year by city MP Chloe Smith.

By the end of December the pioneering campaign which brings together employers, young people and partners such as Norwich Jobcentre, had put more than 460 young people into work. Nearly 70 local employers had given their backing and 859 jobs and apprenticeships had been pledged.

To help reach the campaign’s target of cutting youth unemployment by 1,000 in two years, a promotional breakfast event has been organised in The Forum’s Fusion Gallery, from 8.30am to 10.30am on February 21, to mark the first anniversary.

Invitations have gone out to local employers already involved in Norwich For Jobs and others who it is hoped can make a contribution in the future.

Alongside a high-profile guest presenter, yet to be announced, there will be speeches from two local employers and a presentation by a young person who has benefited from the campaign.

Young people will be involved in filming the event and there is still a chance to take part by getting in touch via the website.

With the campaign working hard to create even more new apprenticeships, Miss Smith is keen that the ending of one funding stream from Norfolk County Council should not lessen the momentum.

The Apprenticeships Norfolk Fund, which offered a grant of £3,500 to eligible employers who took on an apprentice, has been wound down after achieving its target of 400 apprenticeships.

However, Miss Smith said: “There are lots of sources of help out there for employers looking to take on an apprentice. The county council programme was just one of these and was always planned to be a temporary boost.

“The national government offers a grant per apprentice which is designed to help businesses grow and Norwich For Jobs is available to help employers who want to take on local young talent.”

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