Cabinet minister visits Norwich business

Cabinet minister Baroness Sayeeda Warsi believes government plans will slam shut the 'revolving door of unemployment' and help Norfolk's jobless secure long-term work.

The co-chairman of the Conservative Party said it was vital to talk to people, assess their skills and find them a suitable job, rather than offer quick-fix solutions which could leave them drifting from job to job, via the dole queue.

During a visit to Norwich today, Baroness Warsi said: 'Every person is different. Job losses and people finding jobs are not about statistics. It's not about ticking a box by getting a person in a job. It's about six months, a year and ensuring these people are still in these jobs. It's a lifestyle change and job change.

'What this government is not interested in is a revolving door of unemployment, making it look good for a short period. What it's interested in is changing people's lives by getting them a job that's right for them and they stay in it.'

The minister without portfolio toured the offices of Seetec, based in Magdalen Street, to view the work of the Government-funded employment and skills training programme.

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Under this project, Seetec is appointed to help people find work and are paid if they are successful.

Recent figures revealed 20,030 Norfolk and Wavenyy residents were unemployed, with 6,685 of these aged between 18 and 24.

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But Baroness Warsi added: 'These are tough times. We accept it must be extremely worrying for young people coming into the world of work but they can be confident they have a responsible government showing leadership and in tune with the principle that we will not leave a mess to pick up because of excesses.'

Chris Shawyer, Seetec executive director for the east of England, said: 'We are looking to address our customers' barriers to work, then prepare them for work, enhance their employability, place them in work but most important is look to give them job retention.

'We are now at the stage where the first signs of sustainability are coming through. We started the programme in June and the first clients in the system have been there three or six months. We now see where they are going.'

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