Norwich For Jobs campaign attracts interest from Africa

PUBLISHED: 12:08 24 January 2014 | UPDATED: 12:08 24 January 2014

Chloe Smith MP talking with the Tanzanian delegates in Norwich. Photo: Bill Smith

Chloe Smith MP talking with the Tanzanian delegates in Norwich. Photo: Bill Smith

Archant © 2014

Norwich for Jobs campaign chairman Chloe Smith today delivered news of a landmark achievement in front of a delegation of African MPs.

The city MP told the campaign’s steering group that the latest unemployment figures up to the end of December showed more than 500 local young people had been helped into jobs and apprenticeships since the launch of the initiative at the end of January last year.

It meant Norwich for Jobs was now ahead of its target for cutting youth unemployment by 1,000 in two years.

The five female MPs from Tanzania were attending the meeting at St Andrew’s House during their UK visit to learn about the campaign with a view to implementing it in their own country.

Ms Smith told them that “the strength of the project was the local community doing it for itself, not relying on someone else”.

She said: “We are really proud of helping the 500th young person into work. These figures show we are slightly ahead of plan at the project’s halfway point. This is testament to the local businesses who have signed up to help so far - and to Norwich’s brilliant young people.

“However, the second year is really crucial in meeting our full goal of 1,000 young people into work. We’re looking forward to celebrating our One Year On milestone next month and asking more employers to sign up to help us complete what we set out to do.”

Zarina Madabida, an MP from Tanzania’s capital Dar es Salaam, said: “There is a lot of youth unemployment back home and not many jobs in Tanzania. We want to see how we can implement these strategies in our country.”

Angellah Kairuki, a deputy minister, said it was instructive to see how the campaign had successfully involved so many partners, from the MP to local councils and business leaders.

Tom Adams, Norwich Jobcentre’s campaign manager, said the number of 18 to 24-year-olds on the unemployment register in the city now stood at 1,320 - the lowest figure since August 2008.

The youth unemployment rate in Norwich had dropped 7pc compared to just 1.41pc across the county as a whole.

The meeting was told that The Fusion Gallery at The Forum had been booked from 8.30am to 10.30am on February 21 for a promotional breakfast event 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 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.

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