From councils and business leaders to the Bishop of Norwich, people and organisations from across Norfolk who are keen to see our young people succeed are backing the Norwich for Jobs campaign.

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The ambitious two-year initiative, which was launched on Friday, aims to halve the current level of youth unemployment in the area by getting 1,000 18 to 24-year-olds off Jobs Seekers’ Allowance and into work.

Led by Norwich North MP Chloe Smith and backed by the EDP, it is encouraging businesses to view young people as serious contenders for their jobs while also offering other opportunities likely to boost a young person’s prospects.

As the campaign gathers momentum, organisations and individuals across Norfolk keen to see both the county’s young people and its businesses given a boost have signalled their support for the cause.

Support has come from the business world, political world, and the church.

The Rt Rev Graham James, Bishop of Norwich, said he believed the campaign could re-ignite a sense of worth in the county’s young people.

He said: “There is nothing more dispiriting for a young person ready for work to find no job to go to. That’s why Norwich for Jobs is such an important initiative. Most people find their sense of worth at the work they do. That’s why our jobs are so important to us and being without one affects our wellbeing so badly.

“I wish Norwich for Jobs well and hope it may help to reverse the growing number of jobless young people in our city”.

Andy Wood, chairman of the New Anglia Local Enterprise Partnership for Norfolk and Suffolk, said he wished the campaign every success and insisted the LEP “would do what we can to support it”.

He said businesses across Norfolk would always have to prioritise taking on the best employees for their companies but said he was in favour of an initiative that would raise awareness of the plight of young people at the moment and he would encourage businesses to think seriously about the benefits a young person could bring to them.

He added: “One would hope they would consider a young person from this scheme. It’s a tragedy that we have around one million young people in the country who are unemployed. In the counties of Norfolk and Suffolk, it’s great that people are getting behind young people and offering their support.

“We cannot afford to have a lost generation.”

Norfolk Chamber of Commerce has launched its own efforts to support young people across the county and chief executive Caroline Williams said the Norwich For Jobs campaign would complement that work.

The organisation’s theme for 2013 is “unlocking the potential of Norfolk’s young people”.

Mrs Williams added: “Our young people are our future workforce and the sooner we spend time helping them to understand the world of work the better.

“Employing a young person can be challenging, as they do need extra time spent with them but their enthusiasm and new ideas more than make up for it.”

Also hoping the campaign will succeed is Norfolk County Council. It gave the campaign its backing and said it hoped their work combined would benefit the whole county.

Ann Steward, cabinet member for economic development, said: “The Norwich For Jobs campaign is a fantastic idea encouraging local businesses to consider employing young people, and at the same time provides young people with another opportunity to find work.

“I very much hope that this campaign will not only benefit young people in Norwich but those from across the county as a whole.

“Norfolk County Council is passionate about helping young people find employment, which is demonstrated through our Apprenticeships Norfolk initiative which aims to increase the number of 16 to 24-year-olds undertaking an apprenticeship.

“Anything that can be done to reduce youth unemployment in Norfolk, especially during these tough economic times, can only be a positive thing.”

Brenda Arthur, leader of Norwich City Council, added: “As a council we are already promoting the living wage, our own apprenticeship schemes and apprenticeship opportunities with our contractors and partners. So we welcome any initiative which helps young people in our city find work in what are increasingly difficult times.”

Chloe Smith, who is spearheading the Norwich for Jobs campaign, said: “I’m delighted for the campaign to get this support.

“ It all goes to show that, as a city, we really can pull together on an aim like this.

“I really look forward to working with business, charities and many others to make this a success.”

The campaign requires the help of people and organisations from all over Norfolk to help it achieve its ambitious aim of halving youth unemployment in Norfolk.

Miss Smith said she hoped many others would follow the example of those groups already backing Norwich for Jobs.

She added: “This campaign is aiming big. I would like the whole city to get behind it. I think we really can achieve something and I think we may be unique, outside of London, for doing so.

“That’s really worth something and I know that many people will want to join the campaign because it benefits both young people and the city.”

Don’t miss the chance to find your perfect job by visiting Archant Norfolk’s Jobs Fair at Norwich City Football Club on Thursday, March 7, 9am-6pm. Admission and car parking are free.

For more details, contact Alison White on 01603 772115 or email her at alison.white@archant.co.uk

victoria.leggett@archant.co.uk

‘WE HAVE TO TRY’ – Chloe Smith makes the case on Page 22

10 comments

  • well that was a another long edp reprint of a press release which details action to be taken ie; exactly nothing. Getting a Council involved in anything is going be laden with a load of PC correct bull**** , just going to cost the tollpayer money and achieving their usual result which is diddly squat

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    Alan

    Monday, January 28, 2013

  • Backing from key figures? No-one from the County Council then. They don't know what a key is.

    Report this comment

    Electra

    Tuesday, January 29, 2013

  • Please lets be positive,you toadies.Young people you are worthwhile and loved by us old gits. Respect Chloe Smith,it is easy to do nothing

    Report this comment

    PaulH

    Monday, January 28, 2013

  • 1,000 jobs eh? And how do you propose doing this when people are being put out of work every day? Qualified people who will fill these jobs much better than young unqualified school leavers. That is not to say I do not feel very very sorry for them all but this squit is not going to help. Has someone opened a small factory manufacturing magic wands because they are the only thing that is going make any difference in Chloe Smith and the Bishop world.

    Report this comment

    Electra

    Monday, January 28, 2013

  • from council leaders to buisiness leaders to the bishop . Why not stop the window dressing . Only the bnp and ukip are talking sense on this subject . Soon the borders will be open and people from bulgaria and romania will have the legal right to come and work here .Its about time these people like the council and buisiness and the bishop faced the truth about what is happening in the uk today before its too late

    Report this comment

    milecross

    Monday, January 28, 2013

  • More Tory lovebombing courtesy of those who are afraid of Leveson's consequences in breaking up media monopolies.Restoration of Educational Maintenance Allowance her party cut would do more good..

    Report this comment

    Peter Watson

    Monday, January 28, 2013

  • If "Police Commissioner" would like to state facts, we all know that youth unemployment has been a problem for a long time, and well before Chloe Smith became MP. In fact the steepest rise in general unemployment occurred under Labour between the years '08 and '09 and currently, Norwich is one area where unemployment is lower than many other places in the UK. Check: http:www.bbc.co.uknews10604117 Can we not applaud people for trying to make a difference? Its so easy to carp from the sidelines and make personal remarks.

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    The Mardler

    Tuesday, January 29, 2013

  • 1000 jobs..?... Now is that full time jobs paying the average wage of 25k .. 18k after deductions To earn enough to start a working life ... Or cheap part time jobs .. Meaning anything... All good intentions but in a recession that is getting worse .. I applaud any action that actually proves positive .. And not just pie in the sky false job hope... As past MPs have given

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    Lionel

    Monday, January 28, 2013

  • The EDP newspaper today, yet more pages and pages devoted to this CS propaganda sham. It must have been a light day for proper news. Also an unbearably toadying letter glorifying her 'care' for Norwich and her 'hard work' for its people. The mind boggles. On p. 22 she crows 'I am delighted by the response to MY Norwich for Jobs campaign', just in case anyone is in any doubt as to what this is really about. Just answer this one if you can, why has Chloe Smith done nothing about youth unemployment in Norwich until now? This is not a new problem or a new statistic, in truth this level of unemployment among Norwich's young people has been present throughout the past 2.5 years that she has been an MP.

    Report this comment

    Police Commissioner ???

    Monday, January 28, 2013

  • PaulH, she is doing nothing .. that will result in anything

    Report this comment

    Mr Cameron Isaliar

    Tuesday, January 29, 2013

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