Norfolk County Council awarded ‘gold’ for employment support

Norfolk County Council has been awarded ‘gold’ for its outstanding support of the ‘Norwich for Jobs’ programme.

Norwich for Jobs is a voluntary project that aims to reduce the number of young people registered as unemployed within the Norwich area by assisting them to find appropriate work through CV and interview advice, tours of workplaces, work tasters, work experience and apprenticeships.

The project runs a business accreditation scheme, which awards employers bronze, silver or gold standard according to the activities they have provided to support young people into employment. Activities could include offering work experience, CV advice, helping with mock interviews and offering employment.

Cllr Keith Kiddie, Chair of Norfolk County Council’s Business and Property Committee, said: “As a public service provider and a large local employer we want to do all we can to help people gain the skills they need to secure long-term employment that’s right for them. We’re delighted to be recognised for our efforts with this gold award and we hope to continue our support of the local community in this way.”

In the past year, Norfolk County Council has helped people referred from Norwich for Jobs in a number of ways which include: providing constructive comment and feedback on CVs; setting up informal chats with council employees to give people a better idea of what it’s like to work at the council; offering work experience placements to those people who might benefit from experience at Norfolk County Council and signposting others to more suitable opportunities outside the council.

One particular success story is that of 22-year-old Sasha Gotts from Norwich. Sasha started a period of work experience with business support in Community and Environmental Services at Norfolk County Council in early September 2016. Working in a supportive and caring team environment she built on the skills already acquired on a placement with JobCentre Plus and was accepted onto Norfolk County Council’s temporary staff register. In November 2016 Sasha was interviewed for a post in the business support team and was successful in securing a temporary contract. She has since accepted a permanent post as a Business Support Officer for Adult Social Services.

Sasha feels that her experience with Norwich for Jobs and Norfolk County Council has changed her life for the better: “Before I started coming to Norwich for Jobs I believed that I was letting my little boy and myself down simply because I didn't have a job. Since then I’ve grown in confidence and gained communication skills which helped me to grab the opportunity at Norfolk County Council with both hands. Now I have a stable job and feel I can take on the world.”

On receiving the award, Tom McCabe, Executive Director of Community and Environmental Services at Norfolk County Council, said: “We are very proud to support Norwich for Jobs and our local community. Being involved with this project means that we are investing in the workforce of the future by helping young people realise their employment potential.

“Workplace experience can help to boost young people’s confidence and offer structure to their lives, making working feel achievable and rewarding. It’s a real community approach and we’re pleased to be part of the inspiring effort and contribution made by many Norwich businesses.”

Justin Harris, Performance and Business Manager at Tarmac and member of the Norwich for Jobs Steering Group, presented the gold award to Norfolk County Council: “We'd like to offer our congratulations to everyone at Norfolk County Council involved in this achievement and encourage other organisations and businesses across the county to get involved.

“Tarmac has been a proud and active supporter of Norwich for Jobs for more than four years. It’s an initiative which not only develops the skills and experiences of young people and those needing assistance to overcome barriers to employment, but also offers significant benefits to employee volunteers who commit their time and energy to support members of the local community.”

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