Norwich initiative to find work for young unemployed

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Media captionNorwich has about 2,000 unemployed young people

A new campaign has been set up aimed at halving youth unemployment in Norwich within the next two years.

The Norwich for Jobs scheme is the brainchild of Norwich North MP Chloe Smith (Con) who said it was important to do something about youth unemployment.

Though there is no money for the project, local businesses will be encouraged to offer work experience, apprenticeships and jobs to the city's 2000 young unemployed.

Several large employers have already pledged to take on young people.

"We don't want to have any kind of lost generation and I think in Norwich we can do something together about that," Ms Smith said.

'Ambitious target'

"We've set ourselves an ambitious target because we think it's worth setting an ambitious target.

"We are trying to focus the community on a common goal, we're asking companies to consider what they can offer to young people."

There will also be more effort at publicising job vacancies and the local Labour Party said it supported the project.

Julia Nix, from Jobcentre Plus, said: "What we're asking is that employers come forward and give us those opportunities to allow young people to have a go. 50% of vacancies are put out by word of mouth. They're not advertised."

The scheme is based on a project being run by the Evening Standard newspaper in London. In four months 200 companies have been persuaded to offer work to almost 700 young people.

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