Warning over Norfolk’s young jobless as figures show 300pc unemployment rise since start of recession

PUBLISHED: 09:11 15 October 2012 | UPDATED: 13:46 15 October 2012

Tim Sweeting, CEO of YMCA Norfolk, warned youngsters' chances were being

Tim Sweeting, CEO of YMCA Norfolk, warned youngsters' chances were being "stunted".


A charity warns today that the region’s youngsters are having their life chances “stunted” as new figures revealed the number of young people out of work long-term had risen by more than 300pc since the start of the recession.

The figures, released today by The Prince’s Trust, showed 2,155 youngsters in Norfolk, including 595 in Norwich, were claiming jobseekers’ allowance for six months or more – a rise of 327pc on August 2008.

The increase sparked warnings from charities that more needed to be done to tackle the youth unemployment crisis.

Norfolk YMCA CEO Tim Sweeting, said: “Young people are having their life chances stunted by not being able to get even the most basic of employment opportunities.

“They find it very difficult to see a positive future for themselves. It has a big impact on their self-esteem.”

But he added that the YMCA had seen some success through projects in Great Yarmouth and Norwich where it teaches youngsters skills for the workplace.

Norfolk’s figure of a 327pc rise was below the rest of the east of England but higher than Suffolk’s.

Chief executive of the Norfolk Chamber of Commerce Caroline Williams said the figures were disappointing but not surprising.

She said: “The Norfolk business community is very aware of the issues relating to our young people and many are making a real effort to review their organisation structure to see whether they could take an apprentice.”

North Norfolk’s Liberal Democrat MP Norman Lamb said the government was trying to tackle the figure through apprenticeships and the youth contract.

Deputy prime minister Nick Clegg put forward the youth contract last year, in which £1bn was put forward to create jobs for youngsters.

But Mr Lamb said Mr Clegg found on his visit to Norfolk last week that many businesses were not aware of the youth contract.

He said: “Clearly there needs to be more done to spread awareness. The figures are obviously enormously concerning. We have to recognise this as a deep-seated problem.”

The Prince’s Trust is holding a live web-streamed youth forum on Wednesday from 2pm to 3pm.

Celebrity ambassadors including Alesha Dixon, Mark Ronson and Tinie Tempah will be sharing their experiences of overcoming difficulties.

The live stream can be viewed at


Norwich: 310pc (risen from 145 to 595 jobseekers)

Norfolk: 327pc (risen from 505 to 2,155 jobseekers)

Suffolk: 303pc (risen from 380 to 1,530 jobseekers)

East of England: 337pc (risen from 2,635 to 11,515 jobseekers)

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  • BG, I agree with your statistics point and spot on for that early 90's reference...That growing figure from 2001 nudges my thinking to the mass migration from the EU new zones and poverty stricken Portugal and France. nuLabour and their crony business ilk spent the whole of their term trotting out 'migrants doing the jobs that Brit youngsters won't do.' I don't buy into this social dumping con, which is now used by all the team GB political think tanks on all sides.

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    Monday, October 15, 2012

  • I am always very wary about statistics. Like the 84,000 NEATS were are supposed to have in Norfolk according to ingo wagenknecht. That`s something approaching the population of the city of Norwich. If that were to be true we all ought to be extremely worried. Those currently claiming job seekers is just over 1% higher than it was in 1993. It then fell to 2001 and has been steadily rising every since. The figure is skewed because it includes full time students looking for work and as we have more full time students than ever, it follows the true figure is going to be magnified. All statistics as far as I am concerned need to come with a health warning. But that`s not to say we don`t have a real problem on our hands. How big that problem really is, is difficult to judge if you rely on statistics alone.

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    Monday, October 15, 2012

  • The Prince's Turst figures seem to divert from the real figures. Under 25 year old's in Norfolk , some 84.000 of them, are unemployed and not in education. Only a campaign to spend money on this countries education, a re-focus on our infrastructure needs, energy generation projects and much more engineering, instead of spending money on expensive wars and fancy weapons for rulers here there and everywhere, a view now endorsed by US republican think tanks, can change our economic outlook. Cutting 25 million of the Norfolk police budget by 2015, makes no sense when we need more communication and more community work in future.

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    ingo wagenknecht

    Monday, October 15, 2012

  • Lamb (intentionally?) misses the point. Apprenticeships aren't getting people into work because the numbers of youth unemployment are still going up. This means the government's scheme isn't working.

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    Monday, October 15, 2012

  • To question the Prince's Trust figures really is an insult.Of all organisations the Prince's Trust has least axes to grind.These figures demand urgent action but the Work Programme is a farce,unless you happen to be the boss of A4E and there is evidence of employers using apprenticeships as ways of job substitution for existing permanent jobs without a job at the end of it.More dead-end schemes as we had in the 1980s,trying to massage the truth by fiddling the figures,unlike the Prince's Trust are likely to have done.The Coalition have created a lost generation just as Thatcher created hers.

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    Peter Watson

    Monday, October 15, 2012

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