Chloe Smith. Picture: Denise Bradley

Community leaders unite for Norwich for Jobs campaign

Friday, January 25, 2013
10.46 AM

A campaign launches today to ease the plight of young people by cutting youth unemployment in the Norwich area by half in just two years.

With the backing of the Eastern Daily Press and Norwich Evening News, Norwich for Jobs aims to tackle the worrying numbers of out-of-work young people, which have been stubbornly high since the recession took hold in 2008.

There are currently nearly 2,000 18 to 24-year-olds on Job Seekers’ Allowance in the Norwich Job Centre Plus area alone – covering both the Norwich City Council area and surrounding communities.

Norwich North MP Chloe Smith is leading a steering group of key Norfolk figures determined to help the county’s young people,

As part of the Norwich Foundation for Jobs, Miss Smith will be working alongside EDP and Norwich Evening News editor Nigel Pickover, Transforming Education in Norfolk’s chief executive Dick Palmer, Julia Nix, East Anglia district manager for Job Centre Plus, and Andrew Barnes, senior partner at Howes Percival solicitors.

They want to use their influence across Norfolk to encourage businesses – including their own – to view young people as serious contenders for jobs while also offering other opportunities likely to boost a young person’s prospects.

Chloe Smith, North Norfolk MP: “Like many people, I don’t want to see a generation lose out for want of opportunities. I do want to see our city’s businesses thrive and take on great talent.”

Dick Palmer, chief executive of City College Norwich and Transforming Education in Norfolk (Ten) group: “Norwich for Jobs is a really important initiative because it brings together the needs of young people and the needs of our local economy. At a time when it probably hasn’t ever been as tough to get a job for young people, recognising that they are our future, literally, is a really significant thing to do.”

Julia Nix, East Anglia district manager for Job Centre Plus: “It would be truly wonderful if each one of us could make a difference to so many young people giving them a chance to start a career which in turn supports employers and business growth.”

Andrew Barnes, senior partner at Howes Percival solicitors: “Nothing is more important for the economy or for our young people than creating jobs and I want to do all I can to help local businesses grow.”

Nigel Pickover, Eastern Daily Press and Norwich Evening News editor for Archant Norfolk: “This is a major, ongoing, inspiring campaign to get young unemployed people from our great city in to work. Both our daily titles will use all their firepower to ensure it succeeds.”