The prime minister has given an ambitious campaign to dramatically cut youth unemployment in Norwich his backing.

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Norwich For Jobs was launched last week with the aim of reducing the number of 18 to 24-year-olds claiming Job Seekers’ Allowance by half – or 1,000 people – in just two years.

Now David Cameron has become the highest profile name to join the ever-growing band of supporters of the initiative.

In a letter to Norwich North MP Chloe Smith, who is spearheading the campaign alongside a steering group of key Norfolk figures as part of the Norwich Foundation For Jobs, the prime minister said he would be “delighted to support this initiative”.

He added: “I am delighted to hear about the Norwich Foundation For Jobs and wish everyone involved the best of success in helping your people into work.

“Investing in our young people is vital to help them achieve their aspirations and ensure Britain can compete in the global race.

“This is a great example of local government, colleges and employers working in partnership to get our young people into work.”

The Norwich Foundation For Jobs hopes Mr Cameron’s backing will give a further boost to the rapidly rising profile of the campaign.

Already businesses including Heatrae Sadia, Chapelfield shopping centre, and the Norfolk and Norwich University Hospital have pledged their support for the initiative.

They hope to be able to offer a wide range of opportunities – from apprenticeships and pre-employment training to work experience and mock interviews – to young people which will dramatically improve their chances of finding a job.

Miss Smith said: “It’s absolutely great to get support from the prime minister for Norwich For Jobs. It underlines how important the campaign is and I hope it will encourage more employers to get involved.

“It also underlines just how passionate everybody is about helping young people.

“I’m really delighted at the level of support we have already had after launching it on Friday. I always knew that a city like ours would be as passionate as I am about getting young people.”

Dick Palmer, a member of the NFJ steering group and chief executive of City College Norwich and the Transforming Education in Norfolk federation, said Mr Cameron’s support recognised the many groups and organisations getting behind the campaign.

He said: “I think it’s fantastic. The prime minister giving his blessing to our campaign ratchets it up a notch.

“He’s clearly got the uniqueness of the partnership behind it and understands that this is a grassroots community project that’s come, not from any policy, but from people who want to make a difference.

“For him to recognise that and support it is great news.”

The campaign’s five steering group members – Miss Smith, Mr Palmer, EDP editor Nigel Pickover, Andrew Barnes, senior partner at Howes Percival, and Julia Nix, regional manager for Job Centre Plus – came together after seeing how difficult it had become for young people to compete with experienced workers for jobs.

Before the recession kicked in in 2008, there were about 1,000 18 to 24-year-olds claiming Job Seekers’ Allowance in the Norwich Job Centre Plus area which covers the Norwich City Council area and surrounding villages.

But by February 2009, that had shot up to 2,000.

Since then, youth unemployment has peaked at about 2,400 for the Norwich area and remained stubbornly around the 2,000-mark – or above – for the past three years.

Mr Barnes said, by getting involved with Norwich For Jobs, businesses could benefit just as much as the young people they help. He said: “It goes without saying that the lifebloody of any business is its workforce and the most effective way to get and keep the people a business needs for the future is to develop its staff, supported by training, in the right skills and standards and in its values.

“Young talent will give any business a boost by bringing fresh ideas, energy and enthusiasm so there is a good business case for supporting our young people and giving them a fair chance.”

37 comments

  • I sincerely hope this initiative will help recruitment,but with all the red tape involved,the tax situation,and the fact that the economy is in the doldrums,nothing much will change! reduce business taxes,make it much easier to employ extra staff,and provide incentives to take on apprentices,and it might just have an effect!

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    Harry Rabinowitz

    Tuesday, January 29, 2013

  • Please, no more. Pages and pages again in the EDP newspaper today. More support pledged, but no new jobs created, and I mean proper jobs for the youngsters, not trivia to excite EDP headline writers with manipulated stats. I don't see why PaulH is having a pop at Asato, she hasn't been on her backside in the Treasury since 2010 doing sweet f.a. about tackling youth unemployment in Norwich. To be fair, Treasury economic policies have been fuelling the problem, so i suppose Chloe can be credited with that at least.

    Report this comment

    Police Commissioner ???

    Tuesday, January 29, 2013

  • That's so unfair, he made it all the way to Norwich for the event of a generation, the big NFJ switch-on, and by all accounts had to fight his way into Chapelfield, such were the assembled masses awaiting sight of the Messiah's next miracle - "I take these two fishy and part-time filing clerk roles at Archant and misreport them as 1,000". This is the miracle to be known as the misreporting of the one thousand from hence forth.

    Report this comment

    Mr Cameron Isaliar

    Tuesday, January 29, 2013

  • Chloe sure seems happy to be meeting with her idol Tony Blair in that photograph.

    Report this comment

    Whiley Boy

    Tuesday, January 29, 2013

  • why doesnt chloe smith read todays headline on sky news . Youth unemplyment is rising faster in the uk than any other g8 nation.If you have over 1 million unemployed youth their chances of getting a job are going to become harder by the day if the coalition keep adding thousands to the job market each week through immigration .

    Report this comment

    milecross

    Tuesday, January 29, 2013

  • Milecross, its in the EDP as well, highlighted in the 'lifestyle' section. Off course, being unemployed and poor is a life style decision, the judgement of our new Ipswich editor. Honest Gov. I don't know much about lay out, lets put the poor into the lifestyle section. Since Mr. Pickover sits in his office and does not converse with people, we have to forgive him, he comes to us from Ipswich.

    Report this comment

    ingo wagenknecht

    Tuesday, January 29, 2013

  • ingo, most of dem jobs you spout seem to involve ragpicking on dumps,may i suggest you take a wee peek at the Costessey recycling-ragpicking dump, 70 per cent of the workforce are migrants...der young Brits of all creeds, ain't into ragpicking on minimum wage...simples.

    Report this comment

    nrg

    Tuesday, January 29, 2013

  • BigX, nail on head old bean, Macburgers has apprentices too....flipping heck (burgers) can you believe it!!! File under another new norm.

    Report this comment

    nrg

    Tuesday, January 29, 2013

  • Why do Archant, go out of their way to promote Chloe Smith? It becoming sickening.

    Report this comment

    John L Norton

    Tuesday, January 29, 2013

  • Police Commissioner thingy, I do believe the Fabian luvvie Asato is just as clueless as Smith, not forgetting Lord Mandy's wonderful declaration "we're all Thatcherites now".

    Report this comment

    nrg

    Tuesday, January 29, 2013

  • Right you lot .Tell my please what Jess Asato has plans for the youngsters then. Go on big noises we are all ears.Silence can be deafening..

    Report this comment

    PaulH

    Tuesday, January 29, 2013

  • when you have over 1 million plus unemployed youth in this country only fools would keep adding people to the job market and only fools would keep voting for it

    Report this comment

    milecross

    Tuesday, January 29, 2013

  • As ever it is embarrassing to have read articles on the websites of some of the nationals only to see the usual scattering of errors on this one. "people who want to make a different." - a different what? And whatever is "the lifebloody of any business"?

    Report this comment

    Thoreauwasright

    Tuesday, January 29, 2013

  • Is there any way youngsters can get jobs through the governments 'Green Deal'? This got a tiny mention in the EDP today. Its meant to bring a boost to the economy apparently, which would mean more jobs in common parlance. Or would that be the economy of misery fuelled by more debts? The 'great deal' means you get a loan to pay for home improvements to try and save a few quid from your spiralling energy bills. Who knows, the savings might just cover the cost of the loan. once upon a time there was public money for energy efficiency grants, and people got a grant to pay for the improvements. So is this big launch of the 'greed deal' just a scam to cover up the cutting of grants. I would expect nothing less from the current government. Like the proliferation of payday lenders, as if they are not plunging people into enough debt already. Add some more through this latest buy now, pay later offer, why not. APR TBA!

    Report this comment

    Police Commissioner ???

    Tuesday, January 29, 2013

  • So two headlines alongside one another. One saying that 37,000 houses to be built in Norfolk and the other saying that the Tory Party are going to find loads more jobs for youngsters. (1,000 in the first year to be precise) Anyone else see the irony in this? 37,000 houses equals at least 74,000 people requiring jobs (and dont tell me they are living here already and employed because they wouldnt need new housing would they?) Don't know if anyone has broken the news to Smith and Cameron that well known comedy duo but people who buy houses require mortgages and mortgages require money and money requires having a job. So unless the actual job count in Norfolk shows an increase and a massive increase at that there will be no jobs and no-one to live in those houses and certainly no jobs for unqualified youngsters who are fighting for the unqualified lowly paid tasks against the whole of the EU. Why doesn't the EDP actually publish how many jobs have been created or taken away in the Norfolk economy on a monthly basis? Or would that be too depressing. I bet it would. Anyone who believes this ridiculously clumsy attempt to puff up a local MP is nuts.

    Report this comment

    Electra

    Tuesday, January 29, 2013

  • Why is the EDP still promoting this snivelling, crawling creep ?.

    Report this comment

    "V"

    Tuesday, January 29, 2013

  • Received some correspondence recently from an 'Admin Apprentice'. Perfectly nice young person and I wish them well but Apprenticeship, really? This term is over used by politicians who will do anything to grab a headline as most people associate apprenticeships with quality training. In fact a lot of these are not very challenging and not always full time posts. It does however get the number on jobseekers down which is what this is all about really. Apprenticeships are traditionally for construction, engineering and specialist craft type jobs. Sadly this country doesn't have as many of these as it should.

    Report this comment

    BigX

    Tuesday, January 29, 2013

  • Perhaps they could employ some 18-24 yr old to spell and grammar check?

    Report this comment

    You know who you are!

    Wednesday, January 30, 2013

  • PaddyNR1, This country has been flat lining since 2008, I do believe your former one-eyed leader and his banksters pals had rather a lot to do with this never ending recession.

    Report this comment

    nrg

    Tuesday, January 29, 2013

  • NRG, your post shows the lack of nous that is so prevalent in local Government. What is happening in Costessy is the minimum they can get away with. I'm suggesting a new industry that recycles vital resources. You are a dinosaur and Chicxulub is about to hit.

    Report this comment

    ingo wagenknecht

    Wednesday, January 30, 2013

  • Chloe promoting herself again?

    Report this comment

    NigelS

    Tuesday, January 29, 2013

  • And will the jobs for the 16-24 year old be found using Private Companies like A4E etc? Said Companies will get a nice coloured envelope full of cash for each person they put into work no doubt. It seems there is a lot of focus on getting young people into work, which is good in a lot of respects but on a downside there is less focus for the long term unemployed who are over 24 years old. The older people out of work have in fairness more financial responsibilities such as supporting a family, and paying a mortgage. Support needs to be offered to these people otherwise the children they have will be brought up in poverty, and at worst will be the ones to suffer emotionally, where there are parental breakups caused by simply no support being offered.

    Report this comment

    chebram71

    Tuesday, January 29, 2013

  • It is pretty desperate for a sitting MP to lovebomb their constituency over 2 years out from a general election.Her party have failed on their owns in terms as far as the debt goes,the UK is about to enter a triple-dip recession and we are about to lose the much-heralded triple A credit rating.All of this political stunt by Chloe Smith is a distraction from the Tory party's incompetence.

    Report this comment

    Peter Watson

    Tuesday, January 29, 2013

  • Ridiculous and criminal immigration levels over the past few decades have left debate over jobs housing and social infrastucture meaningless hot air.

    Report this comment

    John Bridge

    Wednesday, January 30, 2013

  • I love Chloe Smith, you can't have too much of her, just as there aren't enough DIY, cookery, reality TV shows and soap operas on television. I pride myself on my stoicism on how much I can handle, Go on, more, I can take it, really I can, honestly... just...one....more....page....pleeeeeeaaaaasssse..... (collapses through the effort...)

    Report this comment

    fester1902

    Wednesday, January 30, 2013

  • One is metaphorically over the moon. The country's leading public relations man, who blagged his way into 10 Downing Street, congratulates a minion on the successful launch of her own vote-chasing gimmick. Bet it was dreamt up by Conservative HQ. In the reams of EDP reporting so far there is nothing concrete discussed that will generate one single new job. It's all been "backing", "supporting", "getting behind". There was a piece in EDP Business earlier this week to the effect that late payers are stifling growth by putting companies in fear of taking on new work. It hardly got a mention, but evidently among the responders to that survey it is a very real and fundamental blocker to the creation of new jobs. Probably a bit too much substance - better to stick to the syrup and feel good, what what.

    Report this comment

    Mr Cameron Isaliar

    Tuesday, January 29, 2013

  • The only people this will help is those MP's who keep getting their faces on our front pages for doing very little, Investment not pointless initiatives is what is required. It's taken us decades just to get a road to our region.

    Report this comment

    parkeg1

    Tuesday, January 29, 2013

  • How terribly interesting to see this article buried away in the "Lifestyle" section. Then again, in the world of the superficial, voting nowadays is so much more a lifestyle statement than a political choice. The latter is to do with potentially-embarrassing things like policies, substance, details, actions, results, achievements and failures, you know, boring old quantitative stuff. Take the good old economy for example, best not to mention that, what what! I think "lifestyle" says it all - it's about people's aspirations and feeling good about things, a thin veneer over a grim reality. Much more of a vote winner.

    Report this comment

    Mr Cameron Isaliar

    Tuesday, January 29, 2013

  • I should hope Cameron would back a call for jobs, what a plonker.

    Report this comment

    Catton Man

    Tuesday, January 29, 2013

  • Does he know who she is now? Reports suggest he accidentally hired her for the treasury.

    Report this comment

    Jeffrey Osborne

    Tuesday, January 29, 2013

  • I see a lot of words coming from Ms Smith and Mr Cameron but where is the real support? What will be invested? Words have never created jobs in history and I don't expect any miracles now either because of them.

    Report this comment

    alleycat579

    Tuesday, January 29, 2013

  • My submission eaten up by censorship, Normal for Norfolk or normal for Archant?

    Report this comment

    ingo wagenknecht

    Tuesday, January 29, 2013

  • Now we wheeled out the Bishop, the PM and some local companies who benefit from a lot of public tenders, all say yes to 1000 jobs in two years time, well done you wehat an astonishing and absolute unrivalled achievement that would be, if it ever happens. Then there is NCC money, some 3.5 million to create well, over 300 apprenticeships, but no more than 400, paying companies to take on young people and teach them a trade that might have a future, or not, the latter is irrelevant as long as they pay taxes and are employed. Well Chloe, try this for future jobs, persuade the minority PM to create new revenue streams instead of placating fast train sets, a national recycling industry that has targets for all businesses and local authorities to achieve? We are talking about a 6-10 billion business of recycling resources, not burning them, monies that are currently not available. Recycling rare earth metals? its done on the continent! Enhanced landfill mining and reclamation of old landfill sites? its done on the continent. Having targets for industry to take up recycled materials? its done on...... So why not here? would this have anything to do with the 2.3 billion fraud in local and national Government? The existing legislation re: privatisation of the NHS should be repealed by the law lords, it has been carried out in secret and without publication of reports into it and some 40% of representatives having a vested interest in it, Tory or Labour, should resign. The problem are party politics, the establishment and an unchanged electoral system.

    Report this comment

    ingo wagenknecht

    Tuesday, January 29, 2013

  • Paul H, its so simple for you isn't it, its either Labour or Tory, just as your daddy knew it and and, you are bereft with loneliness if you can't have your party politics do you? Ms Asato is equally in the dark, another highly ambitious party politicians from the birthplace of noLabour. How about doing it for us here in Norfolk, without party politics, ever thought of that? why do you need nannying by a party wedded to banks and tax dodgers? Unfortunately you are not allowed to see my original post as it was talking of new revenue streams and jobs for all Norfolk youngsters not just here in Norwich.

    Report this comment

    ingo wagenknecht

    Tuesday, January 29, 2013

  • Fantastic news. Dave's got 'on board'. A great place to start would be to restore the EMA and to reduce the cap on tuition fees. And to put a stop on the introduction of universal credit. And to scrap the 'bedroom tax'. And to take us off the austerity path that's leading to an unprecedented triple-dip recession. Good luck to the scheme - but don't ignore the cause and effect of Coalition policy.

    Report this comment

    PaddyNR1

    Tuesday, January 29, 2013

  • Morning the negatives out early.

    Report this comment

    PaulH

    Tuesday, January 29, 2013

  • The look on Camerons face in that picture, makes me wonder where Ms Smiths left hand is?

    Report this comment

    Catton Man

    Tuesday, January 29, 2013

The views expressed in the above comments do not necessarily reflect the views of this site

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