You are here

Norwich For Jobs welcomes new Strategic Board Members as it moves forward to support young people

The Norwich For Jobs project is proud to welcome new Strategic Board Members as we look forward to the project’s new challenges.

The Norwich for Jobs project, which launched in 2013, set out to halve Norwich’s youth unemployment. We achieved this goal and worked beyond that to help thousands of young people into work with local firms.

The project has evolved over three phases:

Norwich for Jobs began with Phase 1 in January 2013. The objective was to reduce the Job Seekers’ Allowance 18-24 year old register by half, and get 1,000 young people within the city of Norwich into work. In reality, 1,832 young people started work or apprenticeships over that first 2 year period.

Phase 2 started in January 2015 with the aim to ‘Change 100 Lives’ and sought the goodwill of employers to do more to support the ‘harder to help’ category of young people. This phase focused on young people from the four benefits of Job Seekers’ Allowance, Universal Credit, Employment and Support Allowance and Income Support. By the time this phase ended, over 150 young people had started work through our project.

Phase 3 was launched 2 years later in September 2017 with the aim of helping all 18 – 24 year olds to move closer to, or into, work.

As the project has run for five years, its current Steering Group was keen to reform and invite new innovators and senior figures from the local community, who can help think strategically and freshly about the 2018 challenges of young people and the job market.

The Strategic Board will meet four times a year to set the goals of the project on an on-going basis.

Chloe Smith, Member of Parliament for Norwich North, and Founder and Chair of the Norwich For Jobs Project said: “On behalf of the existing Norwich For Jobs members, I am delighted to welcome our new Strategic Board members.

“Norwich For Jobs is a Project with 5 years’ worth of success. We recognise that the job-market changes over time, as do the needs of businesses and young people. We wanted to embrace these changes and work effectively to ensure that we are consistently able to help the young people we work with. We welcome new board members from a variety of backgrounds, and with a variety of skills, to ensure that all parts of the city have a voice as we move forward as a project.”

NFJ Strategic Board Members

Chloe Smith MP

About Chloe: Chloe is the Member for Norwich North, having been first elected to the seat in 2009, aged 27. Chloe is currently serving as the Minister for the Constitution at the Cabinet Office. Chloe is a founder member and chair of the Norwich For Jobs Project.

Chloe grew up in Norfolk and lives in Norwich. She went to two comprehensive schools in West Norfolk, followed by York University where she studied English. Before being elected to Parliament, Chloe worked for Deloitte, a leading international firm which advises private businesses, government departments and public bodies. Chloe is married with a young son and enjoys cycling and badminton.

Chloe says: “Norwich For Jobs was a project that I started in partnership with Julia Nix and others, seeing there was a real need to support young unemployed people in the city. Five years on, there is still a need for the project to continually work to support young people realise their career dreams.”

Justin Harris

About Justin: Justin works in a risk, project, performance & continuous improvement senior management role within Tarmac, the UK's leading sustainable building materials & construction solutions business.  Justin has a wealth of national & international experience having worked for blue chip organisations such as TSB, IBM & Sony across the UK, Europe & Asia Pacific.  Justin is a Mental Health 1st Aider & STEM Ambassador.  Justin is married with 3 children & a keen exercise enthusiast who enjoys the gym and running.

Justin says: "Tarmac is a proud supporter of Norwich For Jobs, and we are passionate about helping young people achieve their potential. We’ve been involved in a range of activities including offering work placements, interview advice sessions and mentoring, which not only develop the skills and experience of young people in the County, but also offer significant benefits to our own employees.”   

The Very Reverend Jane Hedges

About Jane: The Very Revd Jane Hedges was ordained Deaconess in 1980, Deacon in 1987 and Priest in 1994. She served her curacy in the Team Ministry of Holy Trinity with St Columba Fareham, moving to the Southampton City Centre Team in 1983 to be a neighbourhood minister and hospital chaplain. Her ministry took a different direction in 1988 when she became Diocesan Stewardship Adviser in the Portsmouth Diocese, before being the first woman to be appointed a Residentiary Canon in the Church of England early in 1993, serving as Canon. Pastor at Portsmouth Cathedral. In 2006 she became the first woman Canon at Westminster Abbey, moving from there in 2014 to become the first woman Dean of Norwich. She oversees the life of the Cathedral and chairs the Chapter and is also a member of the Bishop’s Senior Staff Team.

Jane said: “Norwich for Jobs has done a huge amount to encourage and help young people into work and I am delighted to be asked to join them in carrying on this vital task in Norwich.”

Professor John Last OBE

About John: John has been at Norwich University of the Arts since 2009, having worked in art and design higher education since 1989.  He is currently Vice Chair of GuildHE, Chair of the United Kingdom Arts and Design Institutions Association (ukadia) and immediate past Chair of the Group for Learning in Art and Design.  Within the eastern region John is Chair of the New Anglia LEP Creative Industries group, Committee member of the East Anglian Art Fund and a Trustee of the Forum, the Norwich School and the Sapienta Trust.

John says: “I am delighted to be joining the Strategic Board of Norwich for Jobs which  has already had much success in getting our young people into employment. I hope Norwich for Jobs can continue in supporting our young people into employment as this will not only raise the well-being of our community but also as a support to our    local economy.”

Minnie Moll

About Minnie: Minnie joined Jarrold as Chief Executive of Retail in July 2018. Previously Minnie was Joint Chief Executive of the East of England Co-op, the largest independent retailer in the region. Prior to that, she was Marketing Director of Notcutts Garden Centre Group. For most of her career Minnie worked in London in marketing, innovation and strategic consultancy. In 2016 Minnie was appointed by HRH Prince Charles as his Ambassador for Responsible Business in the East of England, for a two-year term.  She is also the first Ambassador for Fresh Start – New Beginnings, the East Anglian charity supporting child victims of sexual abuse. Minnie was born in Norwich and then grew up on a Thames Sailing Barge in Suffolk. She moved back to East Anglia 12 years ago and lives in the Waveney valley with her husband, twin daughters and a menagerie of animals.

Minnie says: “I am delighted to be part of the Norwich for Jobs initiative. Jarrold are already involved and offering work experience in partnership with the Princes Trust.  I hope we can encourage other businesses to get involved and help our young people, by offering the all important bridge between education and employment.  It’s so hard for a young person to be ready for employment if they don’t have any experience. It can be a vicious circle. Our wonderful City of Norwich is of a size where we can get our arms around it and really make a difference”


Chris Sargisson

About Chris: Norfolk entrepreneur, Chris was appointed as Chief Executive of Norfolk Chamber of Commerce in June 2017 and is busy building on the chambers 120 years of trading by transforming the customer interaction and developing appropriate digital innovation. Chris is a business disruptor with over 25 years’ experience within the digital start-ups and consulting. He grew a previous start up to achieve a multi-million pound turnover followed by a successful sale and exit.

Chris says: “Our region’s success will depend significantly on its people, their relevant employment and their skills. For businesses to deliver to the challenges, fast pace and change requires a workforce supported by all and every innovation that can match: Needs with availability, new skills with learning and opportunity with support. Norfolk for Job plays a vital role in achieving these three key criteria.”


Julia Nix OBE

About Julia: Julia has worked for the Department for Work and Pension since 1983 in various roles. Her career has included a 3 year secondment as East of England Regional Skills Manager and 2 years supporting Polish civil servants working on European Social Fund. Julia has been District Manager for East Anglia Jobcentre Plus since June 2012. Julia was awarded an OBE for tackling youth unemployment in the 2017 new years honours. Julia is a founder member of the Norwich For Jobs Project.

Julia says: “I am passionate about ensuring no young person starts their working career on benefits.  Having been a founder member of Norwich for Jobs we have been able to tackle youth unemployment at the very earliest opportunity.  I am happy to be involved and to support as we are making a difference.”


Andrew Mower

About Andrew: Andrew is the Federation of Small Businesses’ Development Manager in East Anglia, with responsibility for campaigning for FSB’s 5,000 members across Norfolk and Suffolk. He joined FSB in 2017 after five years at local energy consultancy Cornwall Insight, where he worked as Editor. Andrew grew up in Norfolk, and has a PhD in History from the University of East Anglia.

Andrew says: “Our members locally cite recruitment as one of their top challenges. FSB is delighted to be involved in a project that gives employers the opportunity to learn about the talents and aspirations of Norwich’s young people, and that has already helped so many of those young people into work.”


Professor Fiona Lettice

About Fiona: Professor Fiona Lettice is the Pro-Vice-Chancellor (Research & Innovation) at the University of East Anglia.  She is responsible for developing and communicating the vision and strategy for all research and innovation activity across the University. Fiona is also accountable for developing the University’s research and innovation partnerships.  Within the region, Fiona is a Board Member for TechEast, a member of the New Anglia LEP Innovation Board and co-organiser for SyncNorwich. A Professor of Innovation Management in the Norwich Business School at UEA, Fiona’s research spans all business sectors as she seeks to understand how organisations develop new products and services and maintain competitive advantage.  Prior to her academic career, Fiona worked in industry as a project manager for Centrica and as a change consultant on a major project in design and engineering for BMW/Rover.

Fiona says: “At UEA we believe that helping young people to access the right opportunities to develop their careers is beneficial to them and the continued success of the region,  I am delighted to the join the Norwich for Jobs Strategic Board to help achieve its aims.”


Michael Gurney

About Michael: Michael Gurney is a founding director of The Point agency based in Norwich, and has over 30 years’ experience in marketing, advertising and business consultancy. Michael is a Fellow of the Institute of Direct and Digital Marketing. After 13 years service in the Army, including operations in Northern Ireland and Oman, Michael joined Dewe Rogerson in the City of London working in corporate and financial marketing before moving back to Norfolk. He is also a trustee of the Norfolk Community Foundation and on the Board of Finance of the Diocese of Norwich.

Michael says: “I have joined Norwich for Jobs because I wants to create life opportunities for all young people whatever their start in life.”


Corrienne Peasegood

About Corrienne: Corrienne Peasgood has been Principal of City College Norwich since September 2012 and took on the additional role of Principal of Paston College in December 2017. At the age of 21, Corrienne had completed an apprenticeship and taken on the running of her family business in plumbing and heating. The opportunity came to run a part time course in plumbing at City College, a post which led to a full time lectureship and progression into a variety of roles including Senior Lecturer, Director, Vice Principal and Deputy Principal. Under her leadership, Corrienne has improved the College’s Ofsted rating to ‘Good’ and further developed the college’s focus on embedding entrepreneurial learning throughout the curriculum, supported by extensive links with employers and unique work experience opportunities that prepare students for the world of work.     

Corrienne says: “City College Norwich is committed to providing all young people with the best possible education and work experience opportunities to achieve their aspirations which will ultimately help them to secure future employment. Norwich for Jobs is an excellent initiative that is helping to increase employment opportunities for young people in the local area which goes hand in hand with the overall aims of our organisation.”


Tim Sweeting

About Tim: Tim is passionate about equalising opportunities for vulnerable and disadvantaged young people and families. Since 1999, he has worked across England developing and delivering programmes that help young people and families overcome crisis and enable them to thrive. As Chief Executive of YMCA Norfolk since 2009, Tim has led the expansion of safe housing and enrichment programmes for local people including development of life and employment skills so they can get a job.

Tim says: “I am very excited to be joining the Board of Norwich for Jobs to help more young people into work and look forward to working with local employers and all those who have an interest in ensuring young people can fulfil their potential.”