Norwich For Jobs: We achieved so much in 2015; we’re going to be working even harder in 2016

The Norwich For Jobs project: a year in review


What target did we set ourselves?


In our first phase, we helped halve Norwich’s youth unemployment, getting hundreds of young people into work. 


In January 2015, Norwich For Jobs launched Phase 2 of its project, seeking to ‘Change 100 Lives’, and has worked with local employers to do even more to support young people who need a bit more help to get into work. Norwich For Jobs Phase 2 seeks to connect with young people aged 18-24 claiming Employment and Support Allowance and Income Support, as well as the remaining claimants on JSA, helping realise their goals and achieving their full potential. Norwich For Jobs wants to help change 100 lives of those considered ‘harder to help’ within a year.


Why are we doing this?


Young people who claim Employment and Support Allowance and Income Support are too often considered ‘harder to help’.  They may have a health condition, including mental health issues, or a disability.  We know they need support and encouragement to address any barriers, before they can enter employment.


How are we working towards our goals?


Norwich For Jobs is offering young people opportunities that will bring them close to realising employment goals. Many of the sources of support available will seek to boost confidence and help structure young people’s lives to make working feel achievable and rewarding.


Through the support of many city employers, the project is offering young people opportunities to participate in mock interviews with real employers; attend work taster days; take part in work experience placements; be entered into mentoring programmes, including with the Chartered Institute of Professional Development through their local employer members; take part in mental health workshops and attend events run and supported by Norwich For Jobs that will allow young people opportunities to build confidence.


How have we been engaging the business community?


Employers can contribute to helping us ‘change 100 lives’ by taking part in mock interviews, work tasters, mentoring and work experience.  As throughout our project, ultimately we ask Norwich firms to consider if they can give young people a chance of a job.


Hundreds of Norwich employers have supported our aims, recognising the benefit that working with us often has on their businesses.


Chris Paul, Serco has said“Work experience programmes can yield hidden talent and at the same time enable those challenged by interviews to actually shine with their work. I can personally affirm that seeing a young person arrive on our site at the beginning of a projected work experience programme shy and nervous and then weeks later emerging as a shining engaged young person is inspiring. Prepare to be amazed.”


So what have we achieved?

Since launching Phase 2 of our project in January 2015, we have helped:

·       22 young people take part in mock interviews and CV advice sessions with employers who have volunteered their time

·       69 young people take part in work shadowing and work-taster days with employers

·       332 young people begin a work experience placement

·       11 young people sign up for our mentoring programme which we run in partnership with CIPD

·       110 young people attend our Monday Clubs, which allow young people to come in and discuss the support they need to allow them to get into work

·       75 young people into work

But these aren’t just numbers, they’re real people!  We are also giving young people a ‘voice’ to share the success they’ve achieved whilst working with us.

Kerry Stone, aged 21, who was helped by Norwich For Jobs into work, has reflected: "Norwich for Jobs has helped me to find Work Experience in a School, which has led to permanent work as a result. Also, Norwich for Jobs has helped me to find out about other support available locally. Norwich for Jobs has helped make me less nervous to talk to new people and I have made new friends and learnt new things." 

Looking ahead in 2016

Three Years On Event


On Friday 22nd January 2016 from 08.00-10.00, Norwich for Jobs will be hosting a ‘Three Years On’ Celebration at the Lancaster Suite at the Holiday Inn (Norwich Airport).


The Norwich For Jobs Steering Group will proudly host an event that thanks all the employers who have worked so hard with us to help achieve our great success stories in 2015, and thank them for their continued support into 2016. We also welcome new employers who want to ‘get on board’ and give a Norwich young person a chance.


At our Three Years On event, the Steering Group will be delighted to welcome Priti Patel, Minister of State for Employment, who will join with us in hearing first-hand from many of the young people who Norwich for Jobs has worked with during 2015.


A new way to say ‘Thank you’


We will be launching our ‘Membership Awards’, which will recognise the contributions of individual employers to the project. There will be 5 award categories that range from ‘Membership’ categories for all employers who have pledged to work with us through Bronze, Silver Gold, and Champion Awards that reflect the input each employer has given to the project, through acts like offering work experience, CV advice, helping with mock interviews and offering employment to our young people.


Norwich For Jobs is looking forward to sharing many more success stories through 2016 of the fantastic achievements our young people have gained whilst working with us.


The Steering Group would like to thank all of our pledged employers who have worked with us to-date and to welcome all new employers who want to help create successes of our city’s young people.


Our Steering Group’s comments:


Chloe Smith MP, Founder and Chair of the Norwich For Jobs Project:  “I am so very proud of what we have been able to do together.  We knew that our second phase would be harder but even more worthwhile, and we believe we have helped over a hundred people approach work during the year, with 75 taking jobs with the project’s support.  We ask Norwich employers once again to help, because taking a chance on a local young person is great for your business and great for them.”


Andrew Barnes, Senior Partner, Howes Percival: “We received fantastic support in 2015 from very many businesses in our area, but we would like to achieve more in 2016.  We would like to see even more join us because every business, large or small, in every sector plays an important part in enabling us to achieve our goal.  All anyone has to do to sign up is click the box on the home page at”


Dick Palmer, Chief Executive, Transforming Education in Norfolk: “We are delighted at Transforming Education IN Norfolk (the TEN Group) that this second phase of the Norwich for Jobs programme is proving so successful. These young people face real hardships in their daily lives and I am really encouraged that the employers of Norwich (and its surrounds) have the foresight to see beyond those apparent barriers to employment and are giving these youngsters a real chance of improving their lives through work.”


Julia Nix, District Manager, Jobcentre Plus: “I am so proud to continue to work with Norwich for Jobs. I cannot believe how enthusiastic local employers have been to support our young people. This has been truly extraordinary and I am excited about what the future will bring.”


Justin Harris, Performance & Business Manager, Tarmac: "We are proud supporters of Norwich for Jobs and passionate about supporting young people into work. In addition to our apprenticeship programme, we're involved in a number of Norwich for Jobs initiatives, including work placements opportunities, CV and interview advice sessions, and mentoring local school children. We can really see the benefits of our involvement, not just in how it's helped the skills and experience of the young people we work with but for our own employees too."

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