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Norwich for Jobs making progress towards phase three target to halve youth unemployment

PUBLISHED: 16:19 23 February 2018 | UPDATED: 16:19 23 February 2018

Launch of the third phase of Norwich for Jobs at Jobcentre Plus in Norwich. Chloe Smith MP and Jobcentre Plus district manager Julia Nix. 
Picture: ANTONY KELLY

Launch of the third phase of Norwich for Jobs at Jobcentre Plus in Norwich. Chloe Smith MP and Jobcentre Plus district manager Julia Nix. Picture: ANTONY KELLY

Archant Norfolk 2017

New figures show a scheme aiming to significantly decrease youth unemployment in Norwich is making progress.

Norwich for Jobs launched its third phase in September, which aims to halve the number of 18 to 24-year-olds on employment-related benefits in the city within two years, from 2,516 (the total in August 2017) to 1,244.

Despite a setback from the delayed roll-out of universal credit, which saw new applicants move back on to so-called legacy benefits, the numbers of young people on jobseeker’s allowance, income support and universal credit were all down in February compared with August – income support by 25%.

Jobcentre Plus district operations leader Stephen Lankaster said the success of the phase would be measured by monthly “off flow” figures – the number of people no longer claiming the benefit.

Jobcentre Plus East Anglia district manager Julia Nix said referrals to the programme for 18 to 24-year-olds entering the system would be key to measuring its impact.

The full roll-out of universal credit in Norwich is due to begin in October, as phase three enters its second year.

But Mr Lankaster said the programme could aim to “eradicate” JSA claims among young people before this roll-out begins.

There are currently around 400 businesses on the Norwich for Jobs database.

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