Campaign helps cut youth unemployment in Norwich

Chloe Smith, Conservative MP for Norwich North. Photo: Adrian Judd. Chloe Smith, Conservative MP for Norwich North. Photo: Adrian Judd.

Friday, February 21, 2014
8:07 AM

More than 500 young people are in work thanks to a pioneering Norfolk campaign which celebrates its first birthday today.

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Norwich for Jobs, launched by Norwich North MP Chloe Smith is ahead of its target to cut youth unemployment by 1,000 in two years.

Now MPs around the country are looking at rolling out the scheme in their own constituencies.

While the latest figure for youth unemployment in the city saw a small rise,to be expected after Christmas, there has been a consistent fall over the course of the campaign, and Norwich has out-performed the rest of the county. Ms Smith said: “We have achieved something really special in Norwich thanks to the community. Nearly 100 local businesses have pledged their support and got over 500 young people into work.”

Today employers, job centre staff and young people who have benefited were attending a celebration event to mark the half-way stage of the two-year campaign.

Caroline Williams, CEO for Norfolk Chamber of Commerce, said putting a strong focus on getting young people into work was beneficial to businesses too.

She said: “Any business who employs young people finds that it is their ‘can do’ attitude and their ability to work outside the box which makes them such a valuable asset.”

A “One Year On” celebration event will be held at The Forum in Norwich this morning, which marks the half-way stage of the Norwich For Jobs campaign – and toast news that it is ahead of its target to cut the city’s youth unemployment by 1,000 in two years.

When Norwich North MP Chloe Smith launched the initiative 12 months ago, the bleak figure of young people out of work around the city stood at more than 2,000, while across the country debate raged about a “lost generation”.

EDP and Norwich Evening News editor Nigel Pickover, who has supported the campaign from the outset, echoed Ms Smith’s call to carry on the good work.

“It has been a heart-warming story of just what is possible when the whole community pulls together through voluntary effort,” he said.

Caroline Williams, CEO for Norfolk Chamber of Commerce, added: “Norwich For Jobs has enabled businesses, providers and the public sector to work together under one banner to really make a difference to the lives of Norwich’s young people by provide jobs and work experience.”

The recipe for the campaign – seeking out new employers to offer work placements and apprenticeships while at the same time offering young people support and guidance – has attracted widespread interest. A group of female MPs from Tanzania recently attended a campaign steering group meeting to see if the ideas were applicable in their country.

Do young people play a big role in your firm? Email stephen.pullinger@archant.co.uk

18 comments

  • The employing of the 500: This is the tale of how the simple son [DAUGHTER – Ed] of a humble carpenter [did you mean humble son, damn, I meant daughter of a simple carpenter? – Ed] created 500 jobs out of nothing. There was much unemployment amongst the impressionable first time voters of this place. Now when Chloe heard this, he [SHE – Ed] withdrew from there to a deserted place by himself [HERSELF – Ed - Are you sure, I mean, ‘SHE’ dresseth like a man, looketh like a man, talketh like a man, saith porkies like a man…] But when the crowds heard it, they followed him [HER – Ed] on foot from the great City. He [SHE – Ed] saw the great crowd; and had compassion for their votes and cured their sick [don’t you mean ATOS declared the sick fit for work and withdrew their benefits: and lo they were no longer sick – Ed]. When it was evening, the disciples came to him [HER – Ed] and said, “This is a deserted place, and the hour is now late; send the crowds away so that they may go into the food banks because since you voted for the removal of their benefits they can no longer buy food for themselves.” But Chloe said to them, “They need not go away; you give them something to do. I need their votes.” One of his [HER – Ed] disciples, Nigel, the weaver of propaganda, saith unto him [HER – Ed], “There is a small firm here, which hath 5 dead-end placements, and 2 short-term apprenticeships: but what are they among so many?” And Chloe said, “Bring them here to me so we may create a huge PR stunt.” Then he [SHE – Ed] ordered the crowds to sit down. Taking the five placements and the two apprenticeships, he [SHE – Ed] looked up to Nigel, who broke the truth and spun, and gave the story the disciples, and the disciples gave it to the readership. And all swallowed it and were fooled; and they took up what was left over of the broken society, only 2 out of 3 bedrooms full. And those who were no longer claiming JSA were about five hundred men, besides women and children. Now spread the word, so he [SHE – Ed] may be re-elected.

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    Mr Cameron Isaliar

    Monday, February 24, 2014

  • Don't forget it's Chloe Smith's party who want young people,over half of whom are parents,to lose all benefits.After these employers have exploited their cheap labour,and sacked them,these young people face being thrown out on the streets under a future Tory government.

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    Peter Watson

    Saturday, February 22, 2014

  • Well done Chloe, at least you are trying to do something. Voting labour and doing nothing isnt really an option

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    Sweet cheeks

    Friday, February 21, 2014

  • Does this include Chloe getting a proper job to gain some experience of the real life?

    Report this comment

    beverley

    Friday, February 21, 2014

  • The jobcentre staff are invited ? WHY ?. Is it because they have forced younsters to take anything against their will. ?. Just another load of freeloading parasites together with the Chamber of commerce and that MP.

    Report this comment

    "V"

    Friday, February 21, 2014

  • You want to hope it isn't labour who gets in as there will be a bigger mess to handle. At least Chloe tries unlike the other rubbish

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    Sweet cheeks

    Friday, February 21, 2014

  • The answer to youth unemployment is very simple - simply reduce benefits over a period of time and when they will earn more that they get on benefits they will find work!

    Report this comment

    Norfolk John

    Friday, February 21, 2014

  • guella - never mind - in 18mths, she'll be redundant!

    Report this comment

    biglingers

    Friday, February 21, 2014

  • I’m not saying most EDP readers are stupid, but who is going to believe that 500 jobs could be made out of nothing just because of this PR campaign? I mean, did I not prophecy at the beginning that any new jobs created for the yoof would be falsely attributed to Chloe by her accomplices at the EDP? These people are only employed now because the employers needed them so you see they would have been employed anyway. Let’s have no more misleading propaganda to help your darling Chloe get re-elected. PS - you need to give more emphasis to her humble background and that she went to a state school, etc.

    Report this comment

    Mr Cameron Isaliar

    Saturday, February 22, 2014

  • How about Chloe and Chums and the EDP have a scheme to help long term adults into employment? Instead we have some staff at the Norwich Jobcentre throwing the word Sanction around like it is their safe word in a bondage session, tbh some staff need to be tied up and just left there to have a rethink on how they speak to customers, and with some of my experiences and hearing conversation lack of respect towards customers is rife in Kiln House.

    Report this comment

    che bramley

    Friday, February 21, 2014

  • I hope she's got time! I thought she'd emigrated.

    Report this comment

    biglingers

    Friday, February 21, 2014

  • We have ways of manipulating the figures.

    Report this comment

    Unemployed and Luvin it.

    Friday, February 21, 2014

  • Er, just look at your own previously published story listed to the right concerning a continued trend in falling unemployment which is happening anyway and includes the figure of 48, 000 as a national reduction in national youth unemployment over the last 3 months alone. Is there no bandwagon Ms Smith will not seek to grab the reins of in her obsessive need for publicity?

    Report this comment

    guella

    Friday, February 21, 2014

  • 500 young people have found work under the guises of the campaign, great, but to measure success you have to consider how many would have found work anyway without it, I suspect most.

    Report this comment

    Mr Rationality

    Friday, February 21, 2014

  • The EDP darling is back! The saviour of the jobless! The hero of the hour! It's like the Paxman interview never happened, lovely stuff.

    Report this comment

    Rob_H

    Friday, February 21, 2014

  • These are jobs, any jobs, and work placements are not apprenticeships. An apprenticeship usually runs for three years plus and the EDP would be right to question Ms Smith claim to create 1000 apprenticeships in two years. These numbers banded about, without any reference or chance to interview the lucky few, has to be seen against the Governments crass use of the DWP and ATOS, a wholly de humanising experience for many. Some I know, can name and talk to, not fictious numbers, don't even deal with these self serving agencies anymore, young people are making their own choices whether Ms. Smith or the EDP know about it is inconsequential.

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    ingo wagenknecht

    Friday, February 21, 2014

  • after thirteen years of dodgy figures from labour people are now wary of any goverment figures in any shape or form

    Report this comment

    milecross

    Friday, February 21, 2014

  • Why all the negativity towards a project that is actually working and delivering much needed opportunities to young people. As the Director of a company in the scheme I am giving it my full support. Chloe supported by Archant has come up with something here that is making a really positive contribution.

    Report this comment

    CllrJohnCowan

    Saturday, February 22, 2014

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

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