March 7 2014 Latest news:
Ben Woods, Business writer
Wednesday, December 18, 2013
Unemployment in the East of England fell by 35,000 in the three months to October, official figures have revealed.
Norfolk has outperformed regional and national trends to drive up apprenticeships across the county, the latest figures show.
Statistics from the National Apprenticeship Service has pinpointed Norfolk as a frontrunner when creating employment opportunities for young people, with a 7.2pc increase in the total number of apprenticeships for 16 to 18 year olds, compared to a decrease of 9.4pc regionally, and 12pc nationally.
Meanwhile, Norfolk has seen an 8.6pc increase in the number 19 to 24 year old apprentices, compared to increases of 5.7pc regionally and 2.2pc nationally.
It comes as the figures revealed that between August 2012 and July 2013, 1837 people started apprenticeships in Norfolk between the ages of 16 and 18 years, while 2377 people started apprenticeships between the ages of 19 and 24 years.
Colleen Walker, cabinet member for economic development at Norfolk County Council, said: “The figures are really encouraging and are even better than anticipated. This just goes to show that Norfolk is not only passionate about the future of young people but also about boosting opportunities for businesses to grow.
“Apprenticeships are a fantastic way of young people gaining the right skills which can easily ‘fit’ into a company. This then obviously benefits that particular company as well, as they are developing a workforce to suit their own needs.”
In November last year, Norfolk County Council started to recruit 30 apprentices. The first 10 have now completed their qualifications and seven have found temporary employment.
Sonya Dover, 20, from Norwich, is one of the 400 Norfolk Apprenticeships Fund apprentices, and has now found employment with the YMCA in Norwich as a key worker.
Miss Dover completed her one year apprenticeship at Culture Works East and will continue to engage with the youth arts company as a peer leader through their Livingwell project.
She said: “Having the support from Culture Works has been a defining moment in my life, they have helped me realised that youth work is what I want to do and can pursue if I try.
“With their knowledge and support I have overcome so many obstacles and have become a better support worker because of it.
“Doing my apprenticeship gave me all the skills I needed to progress into full employment. It’s given me the determination to achieve anything I desire and completed my puzzle of education and work experience.”
The Office for National Statistics (ONS) showed that a total of 176,000 people were unemployed in the region between August and October.
The region’s unemployment rate was 5.6pc and saw a fall of 16.6pc during the period.
The government was given a pre-Christmas boost on the jobs front when national unemployment fell by almost 100,000 and the number of people in work topped 30 million for the first time on record.
The jobless total fell by 99,000 in the quarter to October, the biggest cut in over a decade, to 2.39 million, giving a rate of 7.4pc – the lowest for more than four years.
Meanwhile, the number of people claiming jobseeker’s allowance fell by 36,700 in November to 1.27 million, the 13th consecutive monthly cut. And across eight local authority districts in the east, the number of claimants also fell by 4,518 to 15,681 in November, compared to the same period in
In Norwich, this saw the number of claimants hit 3,339 in November (compared with 4,347 in the same month last year); Broadland 1,058 (1,368); Fenland 1,474 (2,091); Great Yarmouth 3,022 (3,671); King’s Lynn and West Norfolk 2,287 (2,759); North Norfolk 1,148 (1,478); South Norfolk 1,164 (1,506); Waveney 2,189 (2,979).
Chris Starkie, managing director of New Anglia Local Enterprise Partnership, said: “Over the last few months we have started to see a consistent downward turn in unemployment.
“We cannot be complacent, but there is no doubt that the economic picture is strengthening.”
Esther McVey, employment minister, said the figures showed that the economy was growing and the government’s economic plan was working. She said: “It is really encouraging that we now have a record-breaking
30 million people in work, and I’m particularly pleased to see an extra 46,000 people in work in the East of England.
“The 36,000 increase in the number of women in work in the region over the past three months is particularly welcome.”
• Is your business taking on more staff, or perhaps you have secured a job after a long time out of work? Tell us your story by contacting business writer Ben Woods at firstname.lastname@example.org
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