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Norfolk employers urged to pledge support for young people’s careers

04 June 2021

A call has gone out this week for employers to back a new £800,000 project set to bring a welcome boost for young people taking their first steps on the career ladder.

Launching this week, the Youth Pledge for Employers is a European Social Fund (ESF) funded project that aims to develop opportunities for young people to engage in work-based experiences with a wide range of small and medium enterprises (SMEs) across Norfolk and Suffolk.

Cllr Graham Plant, Deputy Leader of Norfolk County Council and Cabinet Member for Growing the Economy, said: “This project is vital to Norfolk and Suffolk’s recovery as we work together to support our young people to actively get involved in the world of work.

“Deciding what to be when they grow up can be stressful time for young people. We’re looking for SMEs to join the Youth Pledge project to help demystify the world of work. It’s about throwing open the doors to reveal the range of careers available and provide valuable insights and real-life experiences for our future workforce.”

Employers can get involved with the Youth Pledge at a range of different levels, from something as simple as pledging to provide an hour’s talk or a site visit, right the way through to offering an apprenticeship or a job.

To get the Youth Pledge project underway, the team are looking for businesses interested in hosting work inspiration events, such as giving a talk, or hosting a virtual tour of a workplace for young people in their local area.

To find out more and make a Youth Pledge, businesses are urged to visit: www.norfolk.gov.uk/youthpledge

Norfolk County Council is working in partnership with Suffolk County Council and The Mason Trust, with support from New Anglia Local Enterprise Partnership on the two-year project.

Michael Gray, Head of Skills at Suffolk County Council said: “Businesses often tell us they want work-ready younger people to join their workforce. This project gives businesses the chance to offer insight, inspiration and opportunities to the younger generation. We want to create an environment where school leavers feel energised to learn the skills our local workforces need, and for young people to take the first steps towards a career that they will enjoy and find fulfilling.”

Yvonne Mason from The Mason Trust said: “We are delighted to be working in collaboration with all the parties involved and look forward to working together. There are a number of progressions on www.icanbea.org.uk which will support our young people in their choices for training or employment across the region. As the site develops its careers wizard, cv wizard and skills matching tool, we can fly the flag for the companies in our region who will benefit from incoming skills and the energy that young people bring to any organisation.”

C-J Green, Chair of New Anglia Local Enterprise Partnership, said: “We’re already working on addressing the skills shortage by encouraging young people to consider particular training and career paths to bring much-needed specialist knowledge to the region. This third strand of the Youth Pledge project brings businesses together across Norfolk and Suffolk to support our young people with insight days, career inspiration and real opportunities.”

Further information

The Youth Pledge team includes four Business Connectors who will work collaboratively with employers to facilitate the creation of traineeships, apprenticeships and employment with training roles within organisations, supporting both business growth and youth employment with better knowledge of work.

Businesses who get involved with the Youth Pledge at whatever level will be promoted on www.icanbea.org.uk, a website run by The Mason Trust, which inspires young people to take control of their careers.


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