“Momentous milestone” for Norwich For Jobs

Chloe Smith MP: "Momentous milestone"

Chloe Smith MP: "Momentous milestone" - Credit: Simon Finlay

A pioneering campaign to tackle youth unemployment in Norwich has reached what city MP Chloe Smith described as a 'momentous milestone'.

Miss Smith, (pictured), set out to galvanise businesses across the region behind Norwich For Jobs when she launched her campaign in January – and firms have now responded by pledging 500 jobs and apprentices.

News of the milestone being reached was broken yesterday to the campaign's jubilant steering committee, which has been tirelessly reaching out to businesses as well as engaging young people and helping them improve their employability.

Miss Smith said: 'This is a momentous milestone. We set out to get 1,000 young people into work and we have broken through with over 500 paid opportunities pledged as a result of this campaign.

'A big thank you to everyone who has pledged support and to the volunteers working so hard to make it a reality. I'm confident young people will snap these posts up – and we'll go further.

'If you haven't already pledged to be part of this successful community campaign, give it some thought. Look what we can achieve together. Local employers can find great talent by being part of this campaign.'

During its first nine months, Norwich For Jobs has won the formal backing of nearly 60 employers with dozens more indicating their interest. The campaign holds regular meetings of its young persons' panel to support jobseekers and promotes its aims at community events, including this week's Norfolk Chamber of Commerce's B2B exhibition.

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Dick Palmer, chief executive officer of City College Norwich, said: '500 is wonderful news for Norwich for Jobs. This makes us even more determined to see it through and achieve our goal – we're halfway there.'

Nigel Pickover, editor of the EDP, which has supported the campaign from its launch, said: 'It's great that by working together as a community we are giving a bright future to so many young people.'