The Norwich For Jobs campaign has been given a festive lift with news of a fresh landmark success.

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The 10th month of a two-year campaign to halve youth unemployment in the city saw the total number of jobs and apprenticeships pledged by employers reach the impressive figure of 800.

More than 400 young people have now started paid jobs and apprenticeships as a result of the initiative launched by city MP Chloe Smith at the end of January.

Ms Smith said she was “absolutely over the moon” about the latest success and added that it was testament to the hard work of everyone in the campaign team.

She said: “Several local firms have really responded to the campaign’s call this month and the whole team is incredibly proud of what those employers are giving to the community. We are getting close to our halfway mark which will have been to have helped 500 young people into work by January.

“If you are a business and can help with a pledge to get us halfway and beyond, please get in touch. It’s good for your business too to find the talent you need from a local young person.”

It is the second boost for the campaign this month following a visit by employment minister
Esther McVey, who described Norwich For Jobs as “pioneering” and a “shining example to the rest of the country”.

Since the visit, when the minister dropped in on a meeting of the campaign’s young persons’ panel, Ms Smith she had contacted other MPs about the initiative and hoped to see it spread around the country.

To flag up the potential of young people, Norwich For Jobs organised a Christmas card competition which was won by Henry Merrick, 19, of Shotesham St Mary near Norwich.

Henry, a former pupil of Gresham’s School, Holt, produced a pastel design of his village’s All Saints Church which has been printed and will be used by the Norwich For Jobs steering group as its 2013 Christmas card.

The card has been produced as part of an artistic study of his village, the work from which will go on display in St Margaret’s Church, St Benedict’s Street, Norwich, next month.

Henry, who is currently applying to study fine art at university, said: “I saw the competition as a chance to get my work noticed but I can also identify with the campaign as finding work during my gap year has been a struggle.”

Ms Smith said: “This campaign is all about recognising the talent in Norwich and we are delighted to be able to promote a young artist’s efforts.”

She added that next year it might be an idea to sell a Christmas card as a campaign fundraiser.

Tell us about your business successes. Email shaun.lowthorpe@archant.co.uk

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